Lafarge Africa set to build N59bn cement plant in North-East

One of Africa’s leading cement manufacturer, Lafarge Africa, plans to invest about $300m (59.1bn) in building a cement plant in Gombe State to serve the Northeatern part of Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa, Hoddinnot, disclosed this in an interview with pressmen recently. He said the investment would help in building capacity in the region that has witnessed a lot of destruction from the activities of Boko Haram, the Punch reports.

He said, “In the next five years, if the security situation improves in the northeast, we will invest significantly and build a $300m cement plant in Gombe, in partnership with the government and the governor in line with the Federal Government’s initiative to provide homes for the local people in the light of the Boko Haram issues.

“We hope that this will stimulate economic activity in Gombe State and the whole of the northeast, and provide a future for the people currently ravaged by Boko Haram in the area.”

Hoddinnot added that as a long term investor, the firm believed that providing cement and aggregates alone was not sufficient, but also providing solutions to people’s needs and working with the government to solve certain problems.

“We are looking for areas where we can really make a difference,” he said.

According to Hoddinnot, the firm currently sells approximately six million to six and half million tonnes of cement per annum.

“We are also currently working for additional 2.5 million tonnes per annum cement plant in Calabar at the cost of $600m, and that will be coming on stream in the middle of next year,” he explained.

He said the firm planned to help in the economic development of the country such as the provision of concrete roads, which he said were more durable and would help in the transportation of farm produce, especially from the northern part of the country.

“Lafarge Africa hopes to build a stronger Nigeria in terms of infrastructure; we believe that such things will help the country. We have a concrete road in Cross River about 20 kilometres long; an international quality road that will last for a long time and that is what we advocate to help develop economic activities,” he said.