The Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, yesterday charged the Federal Government and other African countries to invest in infrastructure and housing to support the rapidly developing continent, just as his company is expanding across the continent. He stated this at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) where it declared N8 per share dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2015, stressing “The new factories that we opened in Senegal, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Zambia made their first contributions to the business in 2015 and as result our volumes rose by 35 per cent to, driving group revenues up 25.6 percent to N491.7 billion as against N391.6 billion recorded in 2014.” Commenting on the need for government to invest in infrastructure and housing, he said “Africa is rapidly growing. The United Nations estimates that its population will rise from about one billion today to 2.4 billion by 2050, with the urbanised population rising from 400 million to 1.4 billion; that is more than four times the current population of the United States. To support this growth, countries must invest in infrastructure and housing.”
According to Dangote “The World Bank estimates that Africa needs to invest $38 billion a year on new infrastructure in power, roads, transport and water and spend a further $37 billion on operations and maintenance, a total of $75 billion a year. However, it estimates that there is a funding shortfall of $35billion a year right now, which illustrates both the scale of the problem and the size of the opportunity for a cement manufacturer operating in Africa.
He stressed that the market opportunities was apparent to Dangote Cement as it opened plants in Senegal, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Zambia. According to him “While 2015 was a period of transformation for Dangote Cement, against a challenging economic backdrop, the fact is that we achieved something even more remarkable than our rapid and successful expansion across the continent.”
Meanwhile, the company’s 2015 financial reports show that sales volume increased by 35 per cent from 14.0 Mt in 2014 to 18.9 Mt; just revenues increased by 25 .6 per cent from N391.6 billion to N491.7 billion; Profit before Tax grew by 2.0 per cent from N184.7 billion to N188.3 billion; Cash flow from operations grew by 39.1 per cent from N215.3 billion to N299.5 billion, while return on capital employed reduced from 23.9 per cent to 24.1 per cent.