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The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is investing US$75mn in Obajana Cement to support a greenfield cement project at Obajana in Nigeria’s Kogi State.

The project will have an annual cement production capacity of 4.4mn tons and will include a 135MW 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, 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, says, “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, states, “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.”