ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Sunday gave
a piece of coal-rich land to Nigerian investor Aliko Dangote so
that he produces his own coal to power the 650 million-U.S.
dollars Mtwara cement factory.
Speaking at the
official launch of the 580 trucks, which are used by the
Nigerian investor to transport cement from the southern region
of Mtwara to the rest of the country, Magufuli gave a seven-day
ultimatum for the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to ensure that
the land in Ngaka Coal mining area is available to the Dangote
cement firm to start production of its own coal.
directed the ministry to ensure it links the Dangote cement
plant with natural gas as soon as possible so that the investor
produce at minimum low costs and people buy the product at the
He assured the
Nigerian and other investors in Tanzania that his government was
ready to assist them any time they need assistance.
Africa’s richest man
Dangote also expressed his satisfaction with the way Tanzania
was doing to investors saying his cement plant will produce two
million tonnes by the end of this year and three million tonnes
by next year.
During that time, he
said his plant will create more than 20,000 job opportunities
and the price of cement will also go down from 6.71 U.S. dollars
to 4.47 U.S. dollars per bag of 50-kg.
The new development
will be a relief to the investor who in the past used to import
coal from South Africa, which is cheaper than natural gas, a
move that has greatly upset top government officials in the
Magufuli-led government, primarily because Tanzania also
possesses substantial deposits of coal. In August, the
government banned the importation of coal from South Africa.
Africa’s second-biggest economy, has made big natural gas
discoveries and has coal reserves of up to 5 billion tonnes, but
lacks the infrastructure to deliver the energy to major