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How FG authorised re-opening of Nigeria's land borders solely for Dangote Cement exportation

Michel Pucheros, CEO Dangote Group
Michel Pucheros, CEO Dangote Group

Federal Government of Nigeria has reportedly opened Nigeria's closed land borders to allow Dangote Cement to resume exportation to neighboring West African countries.

OGBONGE NEWS gathered that Michel Puchercos, chief executive officer of Dangote Group, was reported to have said that President Muhammadu Buhari‘s administration gave the authorization for Africa’s biggest producer of cement to export cement to Niger and Togo in the third quarter of 2020 for the first time in ten months,  during an investor call in Lagos monitored by Bloomberg. 

The export was made possible “through authorization given by this administration,” Pucheros was quoted to have said during the call.

The exemption to Dangote Cement is seen as a softening of the government’s position on a border closure that started in August 2019, and could open the way for other businesses to fully resume exports across the country’s land barriers.

This has raised hopes in some quarters that Africa’s most populous nation may be opening up trade with neighbors after a year-long blockade.

Nigerian authorities closed borders with neighboring countries including Benin and Niger to curb smuggling and boost local production and consumption. 

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 200 million people.

Dangote resumed land export with “restricted volumes,” and plans to grow the trade using the sea channels, according to Puchercos.

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, Guillaume Moyen, acting chief financial officer, was reported to have said during the same conference call.

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