Foreign exchange situation extremely tight, says Dangote

Dangote Group has said it is struggling with a constricted supply of foreign exchange and is relying on its international cement operations and export-credit agencies to get around the shortage.

“The forex situation is extremely tight in Nigeria,” the Group Executive Director, Dangote, Devakumar Edwin, said in an e-mailed response to questions on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

“But Dangote Cement is already generating income in foreign exchange in Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania, Senegal and Cameroon. Further, we are making financing arrangements through export-credit agencies for the first time.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has pegged the naira at 197 to 199 per dollar since March 2015 to stem its slide amid a rout in oil prices. The policy has led to a shortage of forex and it has been widely criticised by investors and businesses, who blame the restrictions for exacerbating the country’s economic slump.

Growth was three per cent last year, the slowest pace since 1999, according to the International Monetary Fund.

About $10m is sold daily in the official market, aside from the central bank’s sale, which is too low to meet the demand, according to the Standard Chartered Plc’s Chief Africa Economist, Razia Khan.

The company owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is seeking to increase sales and protect market share at its cement unit in Nigeria, amid weaker demand, while expanding elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

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