BusinessDay

Demand for Dangote cement may force more production in Ibese cement plant

...blockmaster, falcon variants up by 35% in Southwest, West Africa markets

As demand for three cement variants being produced at the Southwest Operations of Dangote Cement Plant skyrockets, there is a strong indication that Dangote Cement may increase production capacity at Ibese Cement Plant any moment soon.

Investigations conducted in the Southwest, especially among the Cement Distributors, Building Contractors and Block Moulders, show that there is an increasing demand for all the three variants, but blockmaster accounts for the highest percentage.

BusinessDay reports that the three variants of Dangote Cement – blockmaster, falcon and 3X — being produced at present in Ibese Dangote Cement Plant amounts to 12 million metric tons per annum, but for the increased demand which stands at 35%, there has been a slight scarcity of the products in both International market and the Southwest, Nigeria.

Blockmaster is being used by the block moulders to make concrete blocks; falcon, is a cement variant for international market and it’s being exported on daily basis to the West African market – Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana, among other West African Countries, as well as 3X variant which is multipurpose.

The shortage in supply to the market of the three variants, especially blockmaster, was corroborated by the National Association of Blocks Moulding of Nigeria (NAMBON) which noted the concrete block moulders operating in Southwest, Nigeria are finding it increasingly difficult to get block master brand of Dangote Cement which is specifically produced for the block makers.

Adesegun Banjoke, the President of the National Association of Blocks Moulding of Nigeria (NAMBON), who led members of the Association in Southwest Zone to Ibese Dangote Cement Plant, stated that the scarcity of blockmaster is negatively affecting the pace of work and rate of blocks production among its members.

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While lamenting the artificial scarcity being created by some distributors in Southwest, Banjoko pointed out that cement scarcity began from the Production Plant, hence, the distributors capitalise on the situation to create artificial scarcity and make more money at the detriment of block makers and the entire Nigerians.

As a solution to the scarcity, NAMBON President suggested more production capacity from Ibese Cement Plant and the creation of satellite deports for the distribution of the variant (blockmaster) so that the block and concrete moulders would have access to the products easily.

Responding on behalf of Management of Dangote Cement Plc, Azad Nawabuddin, Plant Director, Dangote Cement Plant, Ibese, assured block moulders across the country of the availability of the blockmaster brand of the its product, saying efforts have been put in place to produce more of the variant to make it readily available.

Nawabuddin said the product would be made available at any time and assured that the Management would look into the problem of scarcity in the market, adding that the company has thousands of tons of the product in its silos in the Plant and wondered why the block moulders would be complaining of not getting it in the market.

He however urged the block moulders to give the company time to dissect the situation and come to an acceptable solution to the issue saying “we are in the business to sell cement, we can’t be producing a brand for you and will be hiding it from you to purchase. Take it from me, you will begin to get block masters as soon as possible. Take it from me.”

Also, Johnson Olaniyi, National Artisan Coordinator, Dangote Cement, told the blockmakers to exercise patience while the solution is being worked, saying that the company would roll out machinery to ensure that the product is readily available in the market, “though it does not come cheap, as the blockmaster is specifically produced for them for better quality and more yield.”

Olaniyi, who explained that Dangote Cement has always being in the forefront of quality product, hence, there has not been any equivalent of blockmaster variant, assured the block makers that Dangote Cement would look into their complaints and come up with practically solution and ensure it’s a win-win situation for all parties.

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