Ashaka (Gombe) – President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday said that the cement industry had attracted six billion dollars about N960 billion local and foreign investments into the country.
Jonathan made this known at the ground breaking ceremony for the expansion of Ashaka Cement Company in Ashaka, Gombe State.
Represented by Dr Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Investment, Jonathan said the industry had also created about 1.6 million jobs in the country.
According to him, the cement industry also serves as the fulcrum for the housing and construction sectors.
“These sectors now contribute about 11.3 per cent of Nigerian’s forecast Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2013,” he said.
The president said the feat was something Nigerians should be proud of, and commended the players in the industry for their focused implementation of government policies.
He said the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan launched recently by government sought to diversify the sources of government revenue and economy away from oil.
Nigeria, he added, must produce what it consume as well as consume what it produced.
He commended the company for the expansion programme, adding it would further enhance job creation as well as increase production.
Jonathan assured all industrialists that government would continue to provide level playing field for the growth of industries.
The company’s Board Chairman, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga, said the expansion was to increase the firm’s production capacity from one million to four million tonnes per annum.
Kwairanga said the expansion would cost N100 billion, in addition to the building of a 64MW power station, which would gulp N20 billion.
He assured the staff of the company that their welfare, training and retraining would be given priority.
On host communities, he said the company had provided water, health, education, and other facilities to them, adding that it would be sustained.