No dollar spent on cement import in seven years —Emefiele
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said Nigeria has not spent dollars to import cement in the last seven years.
A statement from the CBN said he spoke at the inauguration of the new BUA cement plant in Sokoto, which was performed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in Sokoto, on Thursday.
“No dollar had been spent on the importation of cement into Nigeria in the past seven years,” Emefiele said.
The CBN governor pledged the bank’s support for the manufacturing sector in Nigeria and pushed for a reduction in the prices of building materials in the country in order to make housing more affordable.
He said that the decision of the bank to restrict access to foreign exchange for the importation of 43 items, including cement, which could either be produced in Nigeria or for which raw materials could be sourced within the country, had helped to boost the production capacity of cement in the country.
According to him, the production capacity of cement companies in Nigeria has increased from 30 million metric tonnes in 2014 to 60 million metric tonnes in 2021.
Emefiele commended the BUA cement company for its effort in constructing the plant with no external finance, noting that such private sector initiatives were yielding fruits and were critical complementary ingredients to reducing unemployment and boosting production activities in Nigeria.
He said such investments helped to support the CBN’s mandate of promoting stable macro-economic growth in Nigeria.
Emefiele assured current and prospective operators in the industrial sector that the CBN was ready to collaborate with them in enabling the development of a viable manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
“For those who are willing to invest in new greenfield or existing brownfield projects, the CBN will provide all the support needed, both in naira and dollars needed to import plants and equipment to actualise these investments,” he said.