BORDER CLOSURE: FG Exempts Dangote, Begins Movement of Cement Across Border

By DAPO OLAWUNI

More than one year after the Federal Government ordered the closure of all land borders across Nigeria, there are indications that the government has recently granted concession to Africa’s richest business man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote to freely move his ‘Dangote Cement’ across the borders.

According to a report by Bloomberg, hope has brightened for the reopening of the country’s land borders by the federal government.

DAILY TREND NEWS gathered that after one year of the border closure, several trucks were still trapped at the border, while some of their contents have expired and rotten away.

President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have given authorisation for Africa’s biggest producer to export cement to Niger and Togo in the third quarter for the first time in ten months, Michel Puchercos, chief executive officer, said on an investor call in Lagos.

The export was made possible “through authorisation given by this administration,” he said.

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

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

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 said at the same conference call.

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