‘Only manufacturing can save Nigeria from economic downturn’

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With the ongoing free fall of the Naira owning to the declining crude oil price in the international market, a case has been made for Nigerian businessmen to emulate the business mogul, Aliko Dangote by investing in real manufacturing concerns as a way out of the current economic doldrums.

The call came just as the government regulatory body, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) expressed the decision to partner Dangote Cement Plc for effective and efficient delivery of federal Government’s housing scheme.

President of the the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Olayemi Shonubi, who led members and students of the Institute on facility visit to the Ibese plant of the Dangote Cement in Ogun state at the weekend argued that three or four of Dangote in Nigeria would have made a huge difference in Nigeria economy.

According to him, most Nigerian businessmen are actually traders and that Nigeria economy needs entrepreneurs who would invest in manufacturing, noting that all countries being referred to as developed world are industrialized nations and not trading.

Shonubi who could not but appreciate the magnitude and worth of the cement plant noted that more of such plant in various sectors of the economy would have helped the nation especially in the present era of crude oil price nosediving which has made nonsense of the nation’s revenue and her currency value.

He called on the government to urgently see to the formulation of policies that will encourage manufacturing so that more investors can join Dangote and use investment in manufacturing rather than trading as an effective mechanism to industrialize the country and create jobs and help lift the nation’s economy.

In another development, Chairman of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) who visited the Dangote Cement Obajana Plant has also called for a solid “project specific” partnership with Dangote Cement.

Chairman of CORBON, Professor Kabir Bala who said he was impressed by the success recorded at the Plant, added that, “We want to see Dangote-CORBON housing scheme. We are also interested in the training aspect.”

Speaking also, CORBON’s Registrar Dr. Peter Kuroshi said the 40 percent slash in cement prices by Dangote has provided an opportunity to embark on a collaborative mass housing scheme that will bring down rental fees in the country.

In his remark, the Obajana Plant Director JV Gungune explained to the visitors production process and thanked the CORBON members for the visit, while promising to forward their requests to the appropriate quarters.

Explaining the development that was recorded since inception of the plant, the Operations Manager, Haruna Adinoyi of the Obajana Plant said with Line 4 on stream, the Obajana plant alone produces 13.25 million metric tons annually while the Dangote Cement Plc controls 62 per cent of the market share in the country.

He however said the country’s cement consumption is very low compared to South Africa, even as he described the Obajana cement plant as the single largest plant in the world.

Dangote Cement Regional Director Sales Johnson Olaniyi who coordinated the visit said with the new brands of cement introduced by Dangote, the Company, Dangote is tackling the menace of re-bagging by the unscrupulous element and the evil of collapse building in the country.

Other members of CORBON who visited the plant include its immediate past Registrar Aliyu Ova and Karshima AJ, a building inspector.

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