By JAMES KUNDA –
NIGERIAN High Commissioner to Zambia Sifawu Momoh has said the Dangote Group’s establishment of the cement factory in Zambia will strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
Dangote Group, one of Nigeria’s foremost investors, will this year complete the establishment of a cement factory estimated at US$400 million on the Copperbelt.
Ms Momoh said making the factory operational was part of a strategy by the Federal Government of Nigeria to strengthen economic ties with Zambia.
In a statement released in Abuja, Ms Momoh explained that the Dangote cement firm, when fully operational in Zambia would give direct employment to many people and boost the existing economic ties between the two countries.
She said Nigeria had a lot to learn from Zambia in areas of agriculture and tourism, adding that the West African economic powerhouse would supplement efforts to grow Africa’s leading copper producer.
“The Governments of both Zambia and Nigeria have been discussing ways of sustaining and increasing direct investments to both countries.
“Investors from both countries will soon meet to share ideas on how to bring development into the country,” Ms Momoh stated.
In a related development, Dangote Group president and chief executive officer Aliko Dangote has said the cement factory in Ndola is among five such facilities that the firm would operationalise across Africa in 2014.
The firm aims to operationalise other cement factories in Tanzania, South Africa, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the end of this year.
Speaking when he addressed a group of African business executives in Nigeria, Mr Dangote said the five plants which were currently at various stages of construction, will add 13.5 million tonnes to the annual existing production capacity of cement by Dangote.
Mr Dangote said the Group’s core focus is to provide value-added products and services that meet the basic needs of the populace through construction and operation of large-scale manufacturing facilities in Africa.
“The Group is focused on building local manufacturing to generate employment, prevent capital flight and provide locally produced goods for the people,” Mr Dangote said.
This is contained in a statement posted on the Dangote Group website.
The factory in Ndola would produce 1.5 miilion tonnes.