Nigerian cement company appoints new MD as competition stiffens

The Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) has announced the appointment of Engr. Yusuf Binji as its new Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer following the exit of Alhaji Ibrahim
Aminu, who joined BUAGroup as an executive director.

The appointment of Binji comes few weeks after CCNN, where BUA Group holds a controlling stake, disclosed plans to merge with another cement maker Kalambaina Cement Company Limited, a fully-owned subsidiary of BUA Group’s cement company.

BUA Group had last month commissioned the $350 million Kalambaina Cement Plant in Nigeria’s north western state Sokoto where CCNN is also based. The plant has an installed capacity of 1.5 metric tonnes per annum and increases the total production capacity of BUA Cement throughout Nigeria to 6 million metric tonnes per annum.

CCNN declared that the merger with Kalambaina puts the new company in a stronger competitive position in a market dominated by Dangote Cement. The company owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has a production capacity of 29.3 metric tonnes per annum in Nigeria and a total capacity of 45.6mmtpa in Africa.

Competition for the Nigerian cement market has been fierce in recent years, with BUA Group, owned by billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu, showing the financial capacity to compete with Dangote, in a market where another major player Lafarge has struggled in recent years. In 2015, the BUA commissioned a $900 million cement plant in Edo state. A year later, Dangote did the groundbreaking for a $1 billion plant with the capacity to produce 6mmtpa. There are also battles over mining rights, which led to BUA Group accusing Dangote of often out-muscling competition. While their battles continue, Lafarge is gradually strengthening its position in the country, declaring a profit of N1.9 billion in the second quarter of 2018.

With Nigeria’s growing population and numerous infrastructure needs, a large market for cement will remain and the battle for a significant share of the cement market will continue among the major players.

Backed by Rabiu’s billions, BUA Group is making moves to ensure the company is positioned for better business performance. Binji’s over tw0-decades long experience in the African cement industry will prove very useful.

“We are […] confident in his ability to build on the gains recorded in recent years by CCNN and oversee new growth areas for the company,” BUA Chairman Rabiu stated.