Dangote Cement has been permitted by the Nigerian government to resume export of cements across the land borders, according to Bloomberg reports.
The development is despite the closure of all land borders by the present administration for over twelve months now with the move raising hopes that Nigeria may be opening up trade with neighbors after a year-long blockade.
The regime of the President, Muhammadu Buhari gave its 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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