Group MD and CEO of Dangote Cement Joseph Makoju will retire effective 31 January 2020. Popularly known as “Mr Cement”, Makoju is bowing out after 45 years in the cement industry. The board has approved the appointment of Michel Puchercos as group CEO effective 1 February 2020.
Makoju holds a BSc honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nottingham and an MPhil in Mechanical Engineering from the same university. He is also an alumnus of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.
Before his current position, Makoju was honorary adviser to the president/chief executive of Dangote Industries, Aliko Dangote, from 2009 to 2018. He was also chief operating officer of Dangote Cement. He has worked in several global organisations including Shell-BP; Blue Circle (UK), and WAPCO which he headed as managing director/CE for about a decade before taking up an appointment as managing director/CE of the National Electric Power Authority (now Power Holding Company of Nigeria).
He served as special adviser (Electric Power) to the president, Federal Republic of Nigeria under two separate administrations. He was pioneer chairman of the board of the West African Power Pool for eight years and remains today an honorary member of the board. He is also chairman of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN).
Makoju belongs to several professional bodies including the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Nigerian Institute of Management and British Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
He holds a number of awards including a national honour from the Federal Republic of Nigeria – Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) and a national honour from the Republic of Niger – Grand Commander of the Special Order of Merit (GCSO).
New CEO with extensive experience
Puchercos, who until his latest appointment, was the group managing director and country CEO of Lafarge Africa (March 2016 – January 2020), a company listed on the Premium Stock Exchange (Lagos).
He has more than twenty years’ experience in the cement industry. He had worked extensively at Lafarge, including as the president and CEO of Lafarge Halla Cement, director of strategy and systems at Lafarge Gypsum, through to CEO of Bamburi Cement, Kenya, Hima Cement, Uganda and chairman, Mbeya Cement, Tanzania.