Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer which is controlled by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, on Sunday began the construction of a new $1 billion cement factory in Okpella, Edo state, in Nigeria’s southern region.
According to a report by Leadership newspapers, the new 6 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) cement plant will be completed within 26 months and is expected to create 6,000 direct jobs and 45,000 indirect jobs for indigenes of Okpella.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, Dangote said that local cement manufacturers such as his company and BUA Group (which is owned by fellow billionaire Abdulsamad Rabiu), were saving Nigeria as much as $3 billion every year through cement import substitution. He also urged other investors to make additional investment in the sector as it would guarantee that local demands were met, while surpluses would be exported to earn Nigeria much needed foreign exchange.
Apart from the 6-mmtpa Okpella plant Dangote has started building, he is also currently constructing another 6-mmtpa plant in Itori, Ogun State. These news plants will increase Dangote Cement’s local production capacity to 41 mmtpa annually.
Dangote, 59, is Africa’s richest man with a current net worth of $17.3 billion according to the FORBES’ real-time billionaire scoreboard on Tuesday.