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Dahiru Mangal: Expanding The Frontiers of Industrialization in Nigeria – Bolade Akindare



When the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration came into office, one of the key achievements was telecommunications. Nigerians celebrated the arrival of the then ECONET despite the cut-throat cost of communication. Telecom was expensive and the monopoly foisted on the people, the arbitrariness that comes with a no choice situation.

Then MTN and Glo stormed the market and the story changed. The market attrition in the telecom business birthed a competitive abrasion that has given birth to reduced cost of telecom.

In economics, competition is key to the protection of the consumers. Apart from higher supply, the drive to build a customer base makes competitors think more about the interest and rationality of the consumers of their products.

For many years, Alh. Aliko Dangote attempted to dominate the cement industry with the Dangote Cement, located at Obajana in Kogi State. He also attempted to buy up other smaller cement industries to give himself the low-bed of carrying the entire cement production capacity for the entire Africa. BUA Cement came to offer some competition which led to all the macabre dance involved in breaking into a hitherto dominated industry by a man of Dangote’s economic status.

But the big masquerade is here already. Alh. Dahiru Mangal, a shrewd business mogul and one of Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs has stepped into the industry in an ambitious $600m deal to establish one of Africa’s biggest Cement Factory in between Ijumu and Mopamuro Local Government Areas of Kogi State.

Mangal Cement has been tipped by economists around the world to be the game changer in the industry. Apart from offering competition, it will be closer to Nigerians as it is being sited in Kogi, a state that shares borders with ten other states in Nigeria.

Out of my inquisitiveness, I visited the site of the company where massive construction works are ongoing . What I saw there was mind-blowing and will surely redefine cement production in Nigeria. I tried to make one of the Chinese at the site speak to me about what to expect, but he insisted it is against their work ethic to address the press as they have no authority to do that.

But a Nigerian Engineer who spoke to me under the condition of anonymity said what Mangal has brought is a different technology, the best in the world that is new to African cement production. He also expressed optimism that Mangal Cement will be the best in Nigeria.

It was good news to the ears of Nigerians and to Nigeria, a nation that imports virtually all her needs should be proud of boasting cement companies that also account for the needs of African countries. But beyond that, what will the Mangal Cement do for Nigeria?

First, it will massively open up competition in the industry and breathe change to the cement production corridors as well as increase supplies and spark the market forces to reduce the cost of cement in Nigeria. This will in turn, reduce the cost of construction in the country.

The foreign exchange generated from export will help strengthen our currency and boost our economy significantly. This will be a timely injection of life to an economy that has suffered foreign exchange losses.

One of my biggest interests is the jobs it will generate. Artisans, Engineers, Professionals of all shades, truck drivers and many others will be employed in thousands, thereby reversing joblessness significantly. The multiplier effects will also see traders, farmers and land owners experience a boom. The Kogi State Government will also earn several millions in taxes and other levies.

To retain our continental supremacy, industries like the Mangal Cement are key. Imagine the pride of walking on the streets of Abidjan, Accra, Conakry and seeing Mangal Cement displayed. Giant is not a word, our products must sit as giants in the biggest stores across Africa.

From my findings, Mangal is known to be an industrialist with a difference. He is a known philanthropist who has used his wealth to empower thousands of people. Therefore, it is safe to hope that the host communities, Local Government Areas and the State will benefit from the giant industry. It is egregious to neglect the layer of the egg.

With what I saw there, I say a big congratulations to Nigeria ahead of the completion of the production plants. I say a big congratulations to the Government and people of Kogi State for attracting such a gigantic project. I also say a big congratulations to President Muhammadu Buhari whose administration has made it possible for industrialization to thrive.

May Nigeria continue to succeed.

Bolade Akindare is a Public Affair Commentator based in Alagomeji Area of Lagos

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