An Africa Business Community
In partnership with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Cement Manufacturing Company, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, has commenced transportation of cement from its Ewekoro Plant by rail to its customers nationwide. Lafarge WAPCO is the only cement company connected by rail in Nigeria.
The partnership, which would ensure faster and regular supply of the company’s products (Elephant and Supaset cement) to the target customers, would see NRC moving about 2,000 tonnes of cement per week on a short term and later 6,000 tonnes on a weekly basis.
Speaking at the Ministerial flag-off to officially commence the operations at its Ewekoro Plant, the Managing Director of Lafarge WAPCO, Mr. Samy Abdelkader, said, “We will continue to partner with Government in order to achieve the dream of self sufficiency and availability of cement in Nigeria. This is another way to demonstrate our support to the Federal Government’s policy of backward integration in the cement sub-sector”. “Lafarge WAPCO is committed to making cement available to Nigerians at all times and this is why this partnership with the NRC is very important to us.
We are optimistic that the use of rail transport will go a long way to ensure that our products - Elephant Cement and Supaset - get to the final users in a safe, reliable and faster way. “It will interest you to know that, apart from the opportunity of reaching our far distance customers in the North, the haulage by train will also help to reduce the traffic congestions on our roads.
For example, one single haulage trip by rail is equivalent to 25 trucks of cement, which would ordinarily have taken about two or four days to deliver, thus reducing the pressure on our roads”, Abdelkader said. He also noted that being a safety conscious organisation, the company was looking into the peculiarities of rail transport in order to see how best to make the operation safe.
Lafarge WAPCO has been partnering with the NRC since its establishment to transport its products to customers. The company has equally optimised its depot strategy with the opening of twelve new depots across the nation, while its logistics system is also being enhanced with brand new trucks.