VENTURES AFRICA – Africa’s largest cement producer Dangote Cement Plc, Friday announced the reopening of its Gboko Cement Plant in Benue State, Nigeria, closed down as a result of the glut in the domestic cement market.
In an official statement, the company disclosed that the decision to reopen the plant was reached on Thursday in Abuja, immediately after a meeting between the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan and the Chairman of Dangote Cement Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Giving reasons for the reopening, a source from Dangote Cement said, “Since the shutdown of the Gboko Cement Plant, Government has been engaging local cement manufacturers in discussions, trying to find solutions to the challenges facing the industry.
According to the source, Aliko Dangote was in an upbeat mood after the meeting with the president and in appreciation of the President’s concern and willingness to intervene; he gave immediate directives to restart operations at the Gboko Plant.
In December, Dangote temporarily suspended production activities at its Gboko Plant which accounts for four million metric tonnes yearly while staffs were asked to proceed on compulsory leave as a result of continued importation of subsidised cement into the country.
“…with the dumping of subsidised imported cement in the South eastern market, there is no way our Gboko Cement plant can survive. In fact, members of staff have been put on forced leave pending when the situation improves,” Anthony Chiejina, Group Head, Corporate Communication, Dangote Group, told BBC.