Management of Dangote Cement Plc has finalized arrangements to temporarily close down its four million metric tons per annum’s Gboko plant, blaming glut in the cement market for the action. The Group Head, Corporate Communication, Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina who confirmed this in Lagos said the move was necessitated by the glut in the market arising from the success presently being recorded with the exponential increase in local production of cement and further compounded by continued importation of subsidized cement into the country.
He disclosed that the production figure for the first eleven months of the year showed increased local production level with supply now surpassing demand. Total supply of cement to the market at the end of November, according to him, when compared to the same period last year, has shown a record increase of 11.4 per cent, the highest ever.
He said it was, therefore, disheartening to note that despite the glut in the local cement market, some cement importation, though reduced, have continued, thus calling to question the rigorous implementation of the backward integration policy, introduced to encourage local production. Giving the reason for the choice of BCC for a temporary shutdown, the Dangote Group image maker noted that “with the dumping of subsidized imported cement in the South Eastern market, there is no way our Gboko Cement plant can survive.
In fact, staff have been put on forced leave pending when the situation improves.” “Inventory of finished products is beginning to build up at our plants. Don’t forget that projects from our investments of about N280 billion in additional capacity are already on stream, with lines 3 and 4 at Ibese and line 4 at Obajana, coming on stream early this year. Chiejina said other manufacturers are also experiencing the same problem of low sale and high inventory and called for urgent solutions to the ugly development.