The President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has said that his company’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives have commenced in Mfila, Congo Brazzaville, where it just opened a $300m, 1.5 million-metric-tonne capacity cement plant.
The cement magnate declared that $1.2m had also been given as loan to aid the country in completion of a bridge.
He was addressing the concerns of the local people about their welfare, noting that it was the firm’s policy to give back to the people in areas where it was operating.
In addition to the bridge, the firm, according to him, has also established scholarship schemes for students around the area.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who represented President Muhmmadu Buhari at the event, noted that Dangote Cement Plc with its 29.25 million metric tonnes of cement production per annum had contributed substantially to the expansion of local cement production from about three million metric tonnes per annum over a decade ago to an anticipated figure of 45 million metric tonnes per annum by the year 2018.
He reiterated that with local cement production, Nigeria had saved over $3bn annually from the importation of the product.
Buhari stated, “Also by successfully substituting import with local production, we have saved about $3bn spent on cement importation into Nigeria annually.
“As a matter of fact, one of the cardinal policies of the Nigerian government today is to fast-track industrial development in our country by enhancing productivity at every stage of the value chain.
“We believe that sustained massive local production is the best way to grow an economy in the long run and we will continue to pursue this policy vigorously because it will not only help us to create jobs for our teeming youths, but it will also help to improve on the standard of living of our people.”
According to him, with the 1.5MT per annum cement plant in Congo, Dangote’s cement plant is the largest in the country.
“It is clear that this will bring a lot of job opportunities arising from this project, which will further strengthen Dangote’s position as one of the largest employers of labour in Nigeria outside the Federal Government,” the President added.
Describing the Dangote Cement brand and Dangote himself as worthy ambassadors of Nigeria, Buhari urged other African business owners to emulate him and invest on the continent.
“I would like to encourage all other African countries to emulate the Dangote Group by investing in Africa because in the final analysis, it is only Africans and not foreigners who can salvage the continent,” he stated.