Against the background of the skyrocketing price of cement in the market, leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc has released into the market, a supply of 9 million tons of the commodity, to stem the price hike.
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote made this disclosure when the President of Tanzania, Dr Jakaya Kikwete paid a facility visit to the 10.25 million Mtpa capacity Obajana Cement Plant in Kogi State at the weekend.
Dangote who had earlier told the Company shareholders during its 2013 Annual General Meeting that his company had not increased cement price went ahead to publish in the dailies how much his cement is sold still maintaining its price despite increase in cost of production input.
He reasoned that low production leading to reduced market supply as a result either turn around maintenance of its plant or shortage of gas must have been cashed in on by profiteers to shortchange members of the public by deliberately hiking the price.
Said he: “the recent scarcity in cement product in Nigeria is due tto low production between January and March due to the yearly turnaround maintenance of the company’s plants at Ibeshe and Obajana.
We have released 9million tons of cement into the market to stem the tide of scarcity and bring down the price.
Therefore, Dangote told newsmen at Obajana that with full production attained, his company quickly supplied about 9 million tons into the market to flood the market and arrest the high price since he believed that once the supplies increased and even beating demand, the price as of necessity would come down.
The Group President and the Tanzanian President flew into Obajana at the close of the World Economic Forum which held at the Transcorp Hilton between May 7 and 9 in Abuja.
Dangote said the visiting Tanzanian President was at the plant to see things himself as the company was building 3 million metric tons of cement plant in that country.
He said the cost of the plant is $600million and that construction work has reached 30 per cent completion. The plant when completed is expected to be officially opened in 2015.
Speaking, President Kikweto said he took time from the meeting in Abuja to see things himself, and he was convinced Dangote is a good business partner his country could trust describing what he saw as ‘wonderful.’
It would be recalled that only recently Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister Wiliam Ruto visited the Obajana Plant as Dangote Cement Plc is building a 3million metric tons of cement worth $600m in Kenya.
Dangote Cement Plc has three plants in Nigeria. They are: Obajana Cement Plant which produces about 10.25million metric tons, the Ibese plant which produces 6million metric tons and the Gboko plant which produces about 4million metric tons.
Apart from in Tanzania and Kenya, Dangote Cement Plc is also building a 2.5million metric tons cement plant in Ethiopia and 1.5million metric tons capacity in The Zambia, as well as import and landing facilities along the coast of West Africa.
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