Nigerian businessmen have been urged to emulate industrialist Aliko Dangote by investing in real manufacturing concerns as a way out of the declining crude oil price in the international market.
President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Lagos State chapter, Mr. Olayemi Shonubi, said this when he led members and students of the institute on a facility visit to the Ibese plant of Dangote Cement in Ogun State at the weekend.
He said three or four people of Dangote’s class would have made a huge difference in Nigerian economy.
The Lagos State NIQS president noted that most Nigerian businessmen were traders, adding that the nation’s economy needed entrepreneurs who would invest in manufacturing.
He explained that countries being referred to as developed world were industrialised nations and not trading countries.
Shonubi, who praised the magnitude and worth of the cement plant, noted that more of such plants in various sectors of the economy would have helped the nation, especially in this era of crude oil price declining.
He lamented that the falling oil price had reduced the nation’s revenue and currency value.
Shonubi called on the government to formulate policies to encourage more investors like Dangote to invest in manufacturing rather than trading.
“This will serve as an effective mechanism to industrialise the country, create more jobs and help lift the nation’s economy,” he said.
Chairman of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), Prof. Kabir Bala, has called for “a solid partnership” with Dangote Cement.
Bala, who spoke when he visited the Dangote Cement Obajana Plant, said the agency wanted the collaboration to be “project specific.”
He said he was impressed by the success recorded at the plant, adding: “We want to see Dangote-CORBON housing scheme. We are also interested in the training aspect.”
CORBON’s Registrar Dr. Peter Kuroshi said the 40 per cent slash in cement prices by Dangote had provided an opportunity to embark on a mass housing scheme to bring down the country’s rental fees.
The Obajana Plant Director, Mr. JV Gungune, explained the production process to the visitors, thanking the CORBON members for the visit.
He promised to forward the group’s requests to the appropriate quarters.
Explaining the achievements that have been recorded since the inception of the plant, its Operations Manager, Mr. Haruna Adinoyi, said with Line 4 on stream, the Obajana plant alone produces 13.25 million metric tons yearly.
He also added that the Dangote Cement Plc controlled 62 per cent of the nation’s market share.
He, however, said the country’s cement consumption is very low compared to South Africa.
He described the Obajana cement plant as the single largest plant in the world.
Dangote Cement Regional Director Sales Mr. Johnson Olaniyi, who coordinated the visit, said with the new brands of cement introduced by Dangote, the company had decided “to tackle the menace of re-bagging by unscrupulous elements as well as the evil of collapse building in the country.”
Other members of CORBON’s delegation were its immediate past registrar, Mr. Aliyu Ova and Mr. Karshima A.J., a building inspector.