FG Exempts Dangote From Land Border Closure – Report
Over a year ago, Federal Government closed borders with neighboring countries including Benin and Niger to curb smuggling and boost local production.
Although the blockade encouraged the consumption of locally grown produce such as rice, it hurt factories across West Africa, which rely on Nigeria’s market of over 200 million people.
According to a Bloomberg report, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration gave its authorization for Africa’s biggest producer to export cement to Niger and Togo in the third quarter for the first time in ten months.
Michel Puchercos, chief executive officer of the firm said the export was made possible “through authorization given by this administration” during an investor call in Lagos State.
Puchercos also revealed that Dangote resumed land export with “restricted volumes,” and plans to grow the trade using the sea channels.
He said a total of 69 tons was exported through land borders in the period, less than one percent of the 11,741 tons of cement sales, adding that shipping by sea is also being explored.
On his part, Guillaume Moyen, acting chief financial officer expressed at the same conference call that the Lagos-based company’s plan to buy back some of its shares has been delayed by market volatility and low liquidity, which have affected valuation.
It is now being speculated that the exemption given to Dangote Cement is seen as a softening of the government’s position on a border closure that started in August last year.
This reignited hope of Africa’s most populous nation reopening trade with neighbors after a year-long blockade.