Dangote Cement Plc is planning to establish an academy to support the seamless transfer of requisite skills to block makers and artisans in the real estate sector of the economy.
Africa’s leading cement manufacturer said the decision was informed by the menace of building collapse in the country.
Dangote Cement’s National Sales Director, Mrs Funmi Sanni, gave the hint during the Dangote Special Day at the ongoing Africa International Housing Show (AIHS) in Abuja.
She said the decision became necessary because most of the artisans and block makers are aging, while young men are not enthusiastic about the profession.
She also said one of the sure ways of reducing the phenomenon of building collapse was to check quackery, while imparting the needed skills to the block makers and artisans.
According to her, the company is also ready to support the block makers who will pass through the academy with machinery and tools.
As part of the effort to ensure cement availability, Sanni said the company has built over a hundred cement depots across the country.
Speaking earlier, Dangote Cement Group’s Head, Sales and Marketing, Mr Rabiu Umar, said the company has contributed immensely to the development of the real estate sector.
“Over twenty years ago, we were importing cement, today, we are exporting cement,” Umar said.
He also identified some of the factors affecting the provision of affordable housing in Nigeria, including rapid urbanization and the rising cost of construction materials.
“Towards helping to address housing shortages, Dangote Cement set up a department whose focus is to attend to the challenges and needs of real estate development in our market. The idea is to engage in project partnerships, collaborations, and participation in Real Estate development initiatives in Nigeria.
“Part of our efforts toward ameliorating the housing shortage is by constructing large cement plants in Nigeria and many African countries. These plants ensure that the basic raw material in the housing sector, cement, is readily available in sufficient quantities.
“We have a dedicated fleet of trucks to deliver both bagged and bulk cement to customers and construction sites.We have established depots near all major markets, therefore bridging the distance between the plants and distributors.”
The company’s Head, Technical Sales, Mr Aniki Ayodeji, said the company currently trains artisans on the right mix.
Speaking on the sideline of the AIHS, Festus Adebayo appealed to the President of the Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote, to intervene in the massive housing deficit bedeviling Nigeria.
“If the Federal Government can partner with the Dangote Group in the area of road construction, why would it not partner with it to mitigate the housing deficit in the country? People tend to take housing for granted but it is one of the primary needs of man that can affect our life and health, and the stability of a nation,” Adebayo said.NAN