Dangote’s settles dispute with Sawa Chiefs, $115m cement plant goes as planned

YAOUNDE, June 18 (Reuters) – Construction of Nigerian cement giant Dangote’s $115 million new plant in the Cameroonian economic hub of Douala has restarted after land dispute was resolved, local officials said on Monday.

Work on the 1.5 million tonnes-a-year plant began last September and was due to last 18 months. But it was halted earlier this year after the ethnic Sawa people filed an injunction against the project, complaining it violated their sacred site on the banks of the Wouri River.

“Following instructions from the Presidency of the Republic, work has resumed at the Dangote cement factory,” Joseph Beti Assomo, the governor of the Littoral Region under which Douala falls, told local state radio.

“Let me seize this opportunity to inform you that the mix-ups surrounding the site of the Dangote project have been entirely dissipated to enable work resumption which must not be interrupted again,” he added.

Sawa representatives were not immediately available for comment but several Douala residents confirmed that construction work was going ahead on Monday.

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote is aiming for a valuation of up to $40 billion for his rapidly expanding cement company at its London listing next year, several times that of top global rival Lafarge. (Reporting by Tansa Musa; Editing by Mark John)

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