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The Rise and Fall of Cement in Nigeria.

Lessons from the Industry.

By oludotun oyedelePublished about a month ago 3 min read


Cement, often called the "building block" of modern construction, has played a significant role in shaping Nigeria's infrastructure landscape. From towering skyscrapers to humble homes, cement has been the backbone of construction projects across the nation. However, the story of cement in Nigeria is not just one of rise and prosperity but also of challenges and setbacks. In this article, we delve into the rise and fall of cement in Nigeria, exploring key factors that have influenced its trajectory, with valid examples illustrating the industry's journey.

The Rise:

Nigeria's cement industry witnessed a remarkable rise, fueled by growing urbanization, infrastructure development, and government initiatives. One of the pivotal moments came with the establishment of Dangote Cement, owned by Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote. Dangote Cement revolutionized the industry by investing heavily in modern production facilities and implementing innovative distribution strategies.

The company's success not only transformed Nigeria into a self-sufficient cement producer but also positioned it as a major player in the global market. With increased production capacity and improved efficiency, Nigeria transitioned from being a net importer to a net exporter of cement, significantly reducing its reliance on imports and boosting economic growth.

Furthermore, government policies such as the Cement Expansion Plan (CEP) and the Backward Integration Policy (BIP) provided incentives for local cement production, encouraging investments and fostering competition within the industry. These measures aimed to promote self-sufficiency, create employment opportunities, and stimulate economic development.

The Fall:

Despite the initial success and growth of Nigeria's cement industry, various challenges have contributed to its decline in recent years. One of the primary issues plaguing the sector is inadequate infrastructure, particularly in transportation and power supply. Insufficient road networks and unreliable electricity have hindered the distribution of cement and increased production costs, making it less competitive compared to imported cement.

Additionally, fluctuations in government policies and regulatory uncertainties have created instability and discouraged long-term investments in the industry. The removal of import tariffs on cement imports, for instance, has exposed local producers to stiff competition from cheaper foreign alternatives, leading to reduced market share and profitability.

Moreover, the global economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic have further exacerbated the challenges facing Nigeria's cement industry. Supply chain disruptions, decreased demand, and currency fluctuations have added strain to an already struggling sector, prompting companies to scale back production and cut costs.

An Example: The Ibese Cement Plant

The Ibese Cement Plant, located in Ogun State, serves as a pertinent example of both the rise and fall of cement in Nigeria. Commissioned in 2012 as part of Dangote Cement's expansion efforts, the plant initially boasted a production capacity of 12 million metric tonnes per annum, making it one of the largest cement plants in Africa.

However, despite its impressive scale and modern facilities, the Ibese Cement Plant has faced numerous challenges, including inadequate infrastructure, logistical constraints, and regulatory hurdles. The lack of reliable transportation networks has made it difficult to distribute cement efficiently, leading to delays and increased costs.

Furthermore, the plant has grappled with power shortages and fluctuating energy prices, hampering its operational efficiency and driving up production expenses. Regulatory changes, such as the removal of import tariffs on cement, have intensified competition and squeezed profit margins, forcing the plant to adopt cost-cutting measures and reassess its long-term viability.


The rise and fall of cement in Nigeria reflect a complex interplay of factors, including infrastructure constraints, regulatory challenges, and external economic pressures. While the industry has experienced significant growth and expansion, it continues to face hurdles that threaten its sustainability and competitiveness.

Moving forward, addressing these challenges will require concerted efforts from government, industry stakeholders, and the private sector. Investing in critical infrastructure, streamlining regulatory frameworks, and promoting sustainable practices are essential to revitalizing Nigeria's cement industry and unlocking its full potential as a catalyst for economic development and growth.


About the Creator

oludotun oyedele

I have being a writer for the past twenty years both poems and intriguing novels though most of my work lack finance but i do it for some local schools has gift so that they can learn. Please support my work to grow.

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