Africa’s richest man said there is a need for his homeland – Nigeria, the most populous country on the continent to invest in infrastructure due to the country’s burgeoning population.
Aliko Dangote told CNBC Africa that Dangote Cement had signed a 4.34 billion US dollars contract with Sinoma International to add 25 million metric tonnes per annum to its existing capacity.
His group announced the commencement of construction of new plants in Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Senegal, Zambia and Nepal. Two grinding units in Mali and Cameroon have started with a 30 month completion deadline.
Dangote added that the manufacturing conglomerate also commissioned its new plant in Douala, Cameroon where he believes his group will make an impact.
“We are producing the best quality in Cameroon so we are going to be the industry leader,” he said.
Dangote lamented the slow investment in the region saying demand for cement in Africa is much lower than in developed countries. He urged his country Nigeria to make necessary infrastructural interventions.
“Nigeria’s consumption per capita is half of Ghana and Senegal which is not right, but going forward this is expected to see an adjustment when the country starts investments in infrastructure,” he said.
“If the population is growing there is an obvious need for infrastructure. Nigeria is going to be 207 million people in the next four years.”
“The future of Africa is in infrastructure but there is no way there can be infrastructure without cement. How are we going to contain with traffic in cities like Lagos and Abuja without investment in infrastructure,” he questioned.
He said by setting up plants in different locations, his group wanted to make sure that it made cement affordable and accessible by cutting transport costs.
Dangote said his company was also making investments outside Africa as this would help de-risk the business by not focusing in one area.