Dangote Industries (DIL), one of Africa’s largest industrial conglomerates, has formed a joint venture with Brazilian contractor Andrade Gutierrez to work on a number of concrete roads in Nigeria, some of which will be new roads and some reconstructions of existing routes.
Obviously, this calls for a review of our existing method of building roads in Nigeria. Roads play an important role in the social and economic development of any nation– Aliko Dangote, founder of DIL
A cement manufacturer, Dangote believes concrete roads are better for Nigeria, while research has pointed to lower lifetime costs compared to asphalt.
The longest of the roads is a 24km stretch between the towns of Itori and Ibese to the north of Lagos. At a signing ceremony held at the weekend (11 June), Aliko Dangote, the founder of DIL, said he hoped the move would signal greater use of concrete in Nigeria.
He said: "Obviously, this calls for a review of our existing method of building roads in Nigeria. Roads play an important role in the social and economic development of any nation."
Other projects include a new road between Obajana and Kabba in Kogi State, central Nigeria and the Ajora-Apapa urban motorway in central Lagos.
One of DIL’s subsidiaries is Dangote Cement, the largest producer in Nigeria with a market capitalisation of $20bn. The company has a cement production plant in the outskirts of Obajana.
The government awarded the company a tax waiver as an incentive to build. It is favouring the use of concrete because about 80% of the materials used for asphalt road construction are imported.
The government estimates that about $1bn is lost each year as a result of bad roads.
Concrete is recognised as a more durable road building material than asphalt, however it is seldom used because of the higher capital costs associated with it. However, a recent report by India’s Ministry of Rural Development found that the whole-life cost of concrete is as much as 25% cheaper than asphalt.
Aliko Dongote, who is reckoned to be the richest man in Africa, began his diversified conglomerate as a cement business.