According to Bloomberg, Dangote Group’s chief executive officer, Michel Puchercos, confirmed on Monday that the company will now be able to export cement to Togo and Niger following “an authorisation given by this administration.”
It was unclear why President Buhari singled Dangote Group for a special waiver that would allow the conglomerate transport its products across the Nigerian land borders, which have been shut since August last year.
Buhari’s government argued that the closure, which left thousands stranded because it was not announced prior to implementation, was designed to curb smuggling, boost local production and consumption of home-grown products.
Although the blockade encouraged the consumption of locally grown produce such as rice, it hurt factories across West Africa, which rely on Nigeria’s market of 200 million people.
The government carried out the policy despite criticism from other West African countries whose leaders said Nigeria’s action undermined the spirit of the newly-signed continental free trade agreement.
In its report on Monday, Bloomberg said Dangote’s waiver could open the way for other bushinesses to fully resume exports across Nigeria’s land barriers, although this was not immediately confirmed by any government official.
KanyiDaily recalls that Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo had also assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is working towards reopening all the various land borders in the country.