Washington, D.C., June 17, 2005 — The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, is investing $75 million in Obajana Cement Plc to support a
greenfield cement project at Obajana in Nigeria’s Kogi State. The project
will have an annual cement production capacity of 4.4 million tons and
will include a 135 megawatt gas-fired power plant and a natural gas pipeline.
It will be one of the largest private sector investments in Nigeria outside
the oil sector.
Obajana Cement is a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, a
leading Nigerian producer of sugar, salt, and wheat flour, and an importer
and market leader in cement. Dangote Industries is part of a group
of businesses owned by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, a leading Nigerian industrialist.
The project is strategic for Dangote Industries, as its output will replace
part of the group’s cement imports.
Richard Ranken, IFC’s director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “This is
an excellent example of the role that IFC can play in promoting private
sector-led growth in Nigeria. The project is a landmark investment for
Nigeria and represents a large investment in the country by a local sponsor.
IFC is delighted to be supporting Obajana Cement and Dangote Industries
in this effort.”
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Industries, stated, “The IFC
loan to Obajana Cement is a milestone in our transformation into one of
Africa’s leading cement producers. In addition to the financing,
we have found IFC to be a valuable partner in addressing the various issues
associated with the project.”
Dimitris Tsitsiragos, director of IFC’s Global Manufacturing and Services
department, added, “The IFC investment will help improve the local availability
of cement and promote investment in infrastructure, industry, and the housing
sector. The investment thus represents an important partnership with the
Dangote group in a high-impact segment of the Nigerian economy.”
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.