• Friday, July 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ashaka Cement to boost jobs with N100bn investments in North East

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Ashaka Cement Plc is making over N100 billi3on (513 million Euros) investments to expand its Gombe plant that would increase output from about 1 million to about 4 million tons, while increasing direct jobs from present 630 to over 2,500 with attendant multiplier effects.

Umaru Kwairanga, chairman, Ashaka Cement, disclosed this in an interview in Abuja as he confirmed that President Goodluck Jonathan has been scheduled to perform the plant’s ground breaking ceremony next month.

He said their conviction to expand production capacity in the North East even when many companies have fled the region is buoyed by passion to create more jobs and engage the youths, especially as the company’s 32.5 cement class remains relevant and has been well accepted over the years in the region.

This came as he vehemently ruled out notions that cement quality has been the major cause of building collapse in Nigeria and especially the North Eastern part of the country.

He said this position is further confirmed by so many researches which practically show that building collapse in the country is more related to builders not following given specifications for block moulding, among other factors.

His words, “I want to state that cement is not responsible for building collapse in Nigeria and I can say that especially in the Northern Nigeria where Ashaka is located.

“If for instance, we say a bag of cement should produce only 18 blocks or maximum 20, and a retailer goes ahead to produce 40 blocks, how can you relate the consequent collapse to the cement? Kwairanga argued.

He noted that even in Northern Nigeria where Ashaka cement is produced and predominantly used, the issue of building collapse is not as rampant as in other places.

He also has raised concerns on the planned ban of 32.5 cement class, saying that the product is also not linked to building collapse and should be left to compete with other specifications while consumers are allowed to make choices.