‘UNICEM’s N93 billion project to be ready soon’
Conducting some newsmen on a facility tour of the projects in Mfamosing and Odukpani, at the weekend, the Managing Director of UNICEM, Olivier Lenoir said, already work on the two projects have reached over 50 and 70 per cent completion.
He said: “As you may have seen from the Presentation earlier, this project will at peak employ a total manpower of 1915. At this moment the manpower working in the project is 1290. The operations will determine what the manpower need will be when we handover the project while the road project has created 380 indirect jobs to local artisans.”
He explained that “in Line with the Federal Government incentives for Cement Industries, the shareholders and Board of UniCem had taken the initiative to support the Federal Government by investing in the economy by constructing an additional 2.5mt Plant, thereby increasing our capacity to 5.0 metric tonne per annum, create wealth, contribute to economic Development and Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement production”.
On whether the second plant will reduce cost of cement, Lenoir said: “Ordinarily, yes it should translate to more supply which should bring down the retail selling price following the basic economic principle of demand and Supply. However, other cost-push variables are not constant nor reducing for example energy cost, distribution cost including taxes and other environmental factors like road infrastructure.
“What is key in driving down retail selling price is reduction in cost of production and distribution which the government can do by creating of enabling environment like provision of basic infrastructure. We hope the incoming government will look into this by addressing the current road infrastructure concerns”.
On the 20 kilometers concrete and asphalt road, comprising 88 culverts and 2 bridges, Lenoir said has gone a long way diversely to enhance the economic fortunes of the locals and will showcase the use of cement in road construction.
The company’s Corporate Affairs Director, Ayi Ita, stated that the project has opened access to communities which hitherto never had road before the evacuation road project.
He disclosed that that the company had through the State government compensated all the communities affected by the road project and the locals are in charge of the sea sand used for construction of the road.
The company’s Project Manager, Mark Aibangbee, reiterated its commitment to ensure the road construction meets international standard.