The building and construction sector is essential to the social and economic development of any nation. It is a sector responsible for development in the field of road, rail, air, maritime transport, industrial development, construction of institutional buildings and housing.
The importance of this industry cannot be overemphasized as it is one more job-creating sector. Due to the various construction projects going on in major Nigerian cities, the industry has created job opportunities for engineers, architects, draftsmen, masons, tilers, carpenters, moulders, plumbers, electricians, benders, painters and various suppliers.
Given the importance of this sector, Lafarge Africa Plc., one of sub-Saharan Africa’s leading building materials companies, is headquartered in Lagos and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
We will get to know the company and, more importantly, see how it has positioned itself to help Nigeria achieve its infrastructure development goals.
ABOUT – History, Incorporation and Projects
Lafarge was founded in 1833 by Joseph-Auguste Pavin de Lafarge in France (Ardèche), to exploit the limestone quarry of Mont Saint-Victor. The company is now majority-controlled by the Holcim Group, but previously operated as Lafarge Wapco Plc. The merger of Lafarge and Holcim resulted in a consolidation of Lafarge assets in Nigeria and South Africa which led to the name Lafarge Africa. In Nigeria, the company commenced operations on February 24, 1959 and was listed on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) on February 17, 1979.
Currently, Lafarge has a global network present in more than 50 countries on all continents, with more than 180 cement plants, 80 dedicated waste pre-treatment/co-treatment facilities, a workforce of 2,000 employees worldwide and more than 10,000 customers worldwide. .
Notable landmarks that Lafarge has helped build include: National Assembly Complex and Federal Secretariat, Abuja; Third Continental Bridge, Lagos; Cocoa House, Ibadan; Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort, Calabar, University of Nigeria Nsukka among others.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS / MANAGEMENT
- Prince Adebode Adefioye – President
He joined the board of Lafarge Africa Plc in December 2012 and was appointed chairman of the board in June 2020. He is an alumnus of the University of Lagos where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1983 and an Msc from the University of Lagos. , and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School.
- Khaled El Dokani – CEO/CEO
Mr. Khaled graduated from Alexandria University in Egypt (1989) with a Bachelor of Commerce and Accounting and obtained the title of “Certified Public Accountant” in Delaware, USA (1998) and started his career at Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte in the Sultanate of Oman as Head of Audit (1992). He worked in various companies until he joined Lafarge, Algeria in 2004 as National Finance Director and rose to the position of Vice President – Business Development & Strategy at Lafarge RMX & Aggregate Operations in Eastern Canada & Eastern USA between 2010 and 2013. In 2013, Khaled El Dokani was appointed Country General Manager for RMX & Aggregate and Gypsum operations of Lafarge Saudi Arabia.
He was appointed Country General Manager in Qatar in 2015, then Country CEO in Iraq in March 2018. He took up his current role as MD/CEO of Lafarge Africa Plc in 2020.
The other board members are:
- Lolu Alade-Akinyemi – Chief Financial Officer
- Elenda Giwa-Amu – Non-Executive Director
- Virginie Darbo – Non-Executive Director
- Grant Earnshaw – Non-Executive Director
- Gbenga Oyebode, MFR – Independent Non-Executive Director
Industry analysts say the arrival of Dangote Cement Plc has sparked tougher competition with the iconic Lafarge WAPCO brand which has dominated cement manufacturing in Nigeria and Africa over the years. Currently, Dangote, BUA, Eagle Cement, Ibeto Cement and few others are among the cement manufacturing companies that are vying for about 35% of the cement market in Nigeria according to some analysts.
The company operates in all parts of Nigeria. It boasts of having factories in the South West, South and North of Nigeria, each with a product portfolio of different brands.
The South West operation has three plants in Ogun State, with a current production capacity of 4.5 MMT.
- Operations in Southern Nigeria
Operations in Southern Nigeria include a cement plant in Mfamosing, Cross River State and a product distribution center in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Mfamosing plant in Cross River State is a modern production facility with an annual cement production capacity of 5 MMT. It was originally established in 2002 as United Cement Company Nigeria (UNICEM) Limited, after acquiring the assets of the moribund Calabar Cement Company (CalCemCo). Today it is Lafarge Afrique’s largest cement production site.
The Port Harcourt distribution center was the former Atlas Cement Company Limited commissioned in 2001 as a bulk cement import and bagging terminal within Federal Ocean Terminal, Onne. The plant was operated on a floating vessel, which had a design capacity of bagging 500,000 metric tons of cement per year.
- Operations in Northern Nigeria
The Ashaka Cement plant in the North East region was incorporated in August 1974 and started production in 1979 as a cement manufacturing and marketing company under the name Ashaka Cement Company Limited. The plant’s current annual cement production is 1 MMT with plans for expansion.
Lafarge as a company manufactures and distributes products through the following associated divisions:
- United Cement Company of Nigeria, Calabar
- Cement Ashaka
- Lafarge South Africa
- Atlas Cement Company.
Its products are in the following categories:
Concrete solutions – Ready to use
The product portfolio for its cement solutions includes various brands such as:
- Ashaka Brand Portland Limestone Cement (Produced in Gombe State)
- Build aggregates
- Elephant Cement – a general purpose cement – a multi-purpose product suitable for the majority of applications
- Elephant Superset (produced by WAPCO)
- Etex- a high performance cement designed to customer specifications for tile making and SRC- a sulphate resistant cement for coastal construction
- Lafarge’s South African products such as artevia decorative concrete products, Buildcrete and DuraBuild cements, Dura-Pozz, Fast-Cast, Pozz-Fill, Powercrete Plus and SuperPozz.
- Powermax – high strength cement for the sophisticated contractor segment
Mortar solutions – Supafix: Supafix is an adhesive mortar based on gray cement, limestone aggregates, organic and inorganic additives
Waste management solution – Geocycle: The Geocycle solution consists of recycling waste such as household plastics into industrial chemicals which are collected directly from municipalities and industries, pre-processed in platforms and co-processed (or reused). Through co-processing, energy is recovered and materials are recycled.
Lafarge services include consultation, laboratory testing, collection and transport, special services, pre-treatment; Co-processing.
In its Q1 2022 financial performance report, the company recorded a profit of N18 billion, a year-on-year increase of 92.18%. Khaled El Dokani, the CEO commented: “Our performance in Q1 2022 shows significant results improvement compared to Q1 2021, with revenue of +26.8%, recurring EBIT of +50.4% and net income of +92.2%. After our very good results for the 2021 financial year, our performance in the first quarter of 2022 confirms the continued growth trajectory of our business. We are also pleased with the progress we are making on sustainability; our use of affordable clean energy and our agro-ecological footprint are in line with our net zero commitment”.
Lafarge’s market capitalization currently stands at N451.02 billion, while its earnings per share (EPS) for the period was N1.09, a 91% increase from N0.57 in Q1 2021 The company has paid its final dividend of N1.00 to its shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Despite its focus on health and safety, Lafarge was charged with illegal mining in the community of Mfamosing near Calabar in Cross River State in 2020. The company had been mining near residential locations in the community , which involved the process of rock blasting; this was accompanied by strong vibrations underneath, causing cracks that compromised the structural integrity of the houses and occasional landslides. The result of this caused damage and destruction to residents’ homes, forcing many of them to become homeless.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Despite the controversies, Lafarge has been involved in several community development projects in Cross River State and other host communities. For example, Lafarge has supported more than 130 secondary schools in Cross Rivers, launched a driving institute to produce its first group of certified female truck drivers, and supported national efforts against COVID-19, among other corporate social responsibility efforts. companies.