Business Sun, 22 Jan 2017 16:14:22 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Dangote sets up multi-million dollar Truck Assembly Plant In Lagos Dangote sets up multi-million dollar Truck Assembly Plant In Lagos

Determined to tap into the opportunity provided by the scarcity of forex in the country to create jobs, foremost entrepreneur, Aliko Dangote has embarked on the establishment of multi-million dollar vehicle assembly plant project in Lagos


Specifically, the plant will be churning out heavy duty trucks on which his conglomerate, the Dangote Group spends huge amount on its importation to distribute it’s products both locally and cross African countries.

Dangote is partnering a leading Chinese Company, National Heavy Duty Truck Group Company Limited, SINOTRUCK to produce several thousand of trucks used mainly for haulage business from its newly promoted assembly plant at Ikeja, Lagos. 
The decision to go into the truck assembly plant project was informed by the need to conserve forex in view of the current economic recession that is facing the country. 
The deal which worth $100 million which is expected to have an assembly plant that will produce 10,000 trucks per year was signed in May 2014 in China, making it the eighth of Shandong, China (SINOTRUK), to be built abroad. 

According to the deal agreement, the plant is 60% owned by Dangote Group, trading under Dangote Industries Limited, leaving SINOTRUK with the remaining 40% equity stake. 

Consequently, Dangote Agro Sacks Limited, which occupied the Oba-Akran Ogba premises of the former Nigerian Textile Mills, until recently, has been relocated closer to the group’s major operational hubs, particularly the cement plants in Obajana, Kogi State and Ibeshe, Ogun State. 
The assembly plant is expected to generate employment for an estimated 3,000 workers, when fully operational. 

Nigeria remains one of the most important markets for SINOTRUK, with Dangote Group operates the largest truck fleet in Africa with over 10, 000 trucks using them for the distribution of its products, like cement, sugar, flour and pasta, among others, even in its plants across the continent. 
Chief Corporate Communication Officer of Dangote Group, Mr. Anthony Chiejina confirmed the project has taken off and that when fully operational, the nation would be spared the nation of huge amount of forex spent in the importation of the heavy duty vehicles. 
According to him, there will be room for the expansion of the project in years to come as it meets the national truck demand, it would explore exportation to neighbouring countries to generate foreign exchange for the nation. 
Chiejina said the Group President, Aliko Dangote has always  believed that the current economic challenges when approached positively will make Nigeria stronger at the end of the day, pointing out that “Alhaji Aliko still be lives that Nigeria is one of the best places in the world to do business” 
The automobile assembly plant is also coming ahead of another landmark project, a $17 billion, 650,000 barrels per day capacity Dangote Refinery, petrochemical and fertilizer plants located in Lagos expected, to begin operations in the next two years and creating over 300,000 direct and indirect jobs by first quarter of 2019, which would require a lot of long trucks for product distribution. 
It would be recalled that in preparation of completion of the refinery project, some 100 trainee engineers have been sent on training abroad to handle sensitive aspects of the multi-billion Dollar investment in petroleum products and petrochemical plant. 

In 2014, according to reports, Dangote Group imported 12,000 trucks from China. That year alone, and despite shrinking domestic and overseas demand, Sinotruk still secured orders for 176,000 vehicles, up by 9.94% from the previous year. 

Of this, SINOTRUCK sold 34,000 abroad, contributing to almost 20% of its total sales volume and making it the largest exporter of heavy trucks in China for 10 consecutive years. 
According to China Daily, a leading Tabloid in China, SINATRUCK revenue from overseas sales amounted to 9 billion yuan ($1.45 billion), accounting for about 13% of the total. 

SINOTRUCK realized it had to become global more than ten years ago when few China made heavy trucks were being exported. Other 30 of its 96 export markets are in Africa, where about 15,000 vehicles are sold every year. 

Earlier in 2013, Alhaji Dangote signed a contract in Beijing with the Chinese firm, through its chairman, Ma Chunji, for the supply of 1,700 heavy trucks and 1,700 semi-trailers. 

Final technicalities on the deal were concluded on the eve of the state visit to China by then President Goodluck Jonathan, in what analysts said, marked a significant milestone trade relations between both countries. 

SINOTRUCK with its headquarters and main manufacturing facility in Jinan, capital of Shandong province, was founded in 1956 as the pioneering enterprise in the development of heavy-duty truck manufacturing in China. 

The truck rolled off the company’s assembly line in 1960 and has developed strategic technical partnerships with major international brands such as Steyr in Austria and Mann in Germany. These have helped Sinotruk penetrate key global markets.

]]> (Super User) Business Mon, 16 Jan 2017 04:24:10 +0000
Over N30b unclaimed dividends paid so far – SEC Over N30b unclaimed dividends paid so far – SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that over the sum of N30b has so far been paid to investors in the Nigerian capital market from the backlog of unclaimed dividends.
As a means to further reduce the unclaimed dividends profile and curb its growth in the country, the Commission has notified the investing public that it will continue to underwrite the cost of E-Dividend enrolment till 30th June, 2017.
According to a statement by the SEC "With a view to ensuring all investors benefit from the E-Dividend programme free of charge, the SEC had committed to pay the cost of enrolment throughout the year 2016, and had resulted in getting about 48% of investors to enroll for the e-dividend payments. Arising from this exercise, over N30 Billion which was hitherto unclaimed have so far been credited to respective Bank Accounts of Investors.
Therefore, the advantage of the e-dividend is not only to enable investors collect subsequent dividends electronically but it allows all accrued dividends be credited to investors' Bank Accounts.
"The Commission has however observed with concern the challenges being experienced by investors in the course of the e-Dividend registration and therefore commits to further defray the cost of registration till June 30th, 2017 to enable investors continue to enjoy the free registration" the SEC stated.
The SEC also reminded the investing public that at the expiration of the free registration period, Dividend warrants will no longer be issued as it would be replaced with electronic dividend payments.
This decision underscores the Commission's strong focus on market development and enhancement of investor confidence. All investors in the Nigerian Capital Market are therefore advised to take advantage of this extended grace period by approaching their Bankers or Registrars for enrolment before the deadline.
E-dividend payment platform was introduced to address the rising incidence of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market.
It is also expected to address the lingering problem of unclaimed dividends, which the market had sought solution for the past 20 years.
SEC DG, Mounir Gwarzo had recently said that efforts made by the commission to ensure that the era of stale dividends and huge unclaimed dividends in the market become a thing of the past was already achieving result with the e-dividend registration system.
"When we started the e dividend, the major challenge was for people to key into the e dividend mandate. There are unclaimed dividends that have not been claimed, the registrars have been compelled to pay all the arrears of unclaimed dividends.
"In this country, we have never had this kind of initiative that has reduced unclaimed dividends like we had today. Apart from the investor getting his dividends where ever he is, that investor will be able to get dividends that in the last five years he has not been able to get. The e-dividend is for the interest of retail investors" he added.
]]> (Super User) Business Wed, 18 Jan 2017 01:54:15 +0000
Re: Proposed $30bn Loan: Avoiding The Eurobond Curse Re: Proposed $30bn Loan: Avoiding The Eurobond Curse

By Olutayo Isaac

As an intellectual, I am inclined to appreciate the apparent hard work and research that must have gone into the article ‘’Proposed $30billion Loan: Avoiding the Eurobond Curse, by Uche Uwaleke in the Tuesday, November 22, 2016 edition of THISDAY Newspaper.

However, it is necessary that we address some of the ‘concerns’ raised by the writer in relation to a segment of the proposed $30billion loan, specifically, the $4.5billion Eurobond component. Without prejudice to the writer’s conclusions, this class of loans are not as risky as he has made them out to be, especially for a country of Nigeria’s niche and unique attributes. Even more so if we are to consider the principles underpinning the decision to go to the International Capital Market to borrow at this time.

Recently, the Director-General, Debt Management Office, Dr Abraham Nwankwo, in announcing the approval of the Federal Government’s new debt management policy explained that ‘’the debt management strategy we are going to pursue over the next four years (2016-2018) takes into account the fact that, for now, Nigeria’s public debt portfolio is dominated by domestic debt’. He explained further that ‘after the Paris and London Club exits of between 2004 and 2006, the country took a deliberate decision to develop its domestic bond market and to do most of its public borrowing from domestic sources to develop that market. That objective has been sufficiently achieved. Therefore, taking into account that external financing sources are, on the average, cheaper than domestic sources, it becomes more necessary to slant more of the borrowing in favour of external sources’’

One of the most globally expected reactions to recession, as an economic situation, is increased public sector spending to activate weakening productive sectors of the economy and eventually generate the much needed revenue from elevated activities – a prospect which makes debt servicing a less cumbersome issue. The alternative is regression and near collapse of economic activity if government fails to act in the face of a slump. It is gratifying that Mr Uwaleke has himself acknowledged the enormous funding challenges faced by the government

This knowledge seems to fly in the face of the pessimism he harbours regarding the prospects of the Nigerian economy, going into 2017. He deliberately or, for that matter, out of a predilection to cause mischief, chose to ignore all the clear and positive signs that point towards a bright outlook in key sectors currently undergoing massive reforms and aggressive investments. We have in mind the reinvigoration of the agriculture and solid minerals sectors as well as the burgeoning telecommunications sector that is poised to deliver even more revenues to the government.

His dim expectation of Nigeria’s ability to avoid the ‘Eurobond curse’ as he calls it, deserves a second look not because of its validity but because it is deficient in its conception. The writer describes the ‘Eurobond curse’ as ‘the increasing burden on the issuer of the servicing of a debt procured on unfavourable terms (at a very high cost) in a desperate attempt to overcome economic challenges”. In the first instance, Nigeria’s current recession can hardly be described as desperate since most projections indicate a quick recovery in as early as mid-2017. Secondly, the countries with which Nigeria’s case is being compared do not possess a quarter of her potentials, capabilities and debt repayment capacity.

Again, writing as a Guest Columnist in THISDAY Newspaper edition of Monday 21, November, 2016, Nwankwo alluded to the immense unutilised potentials of the Nigerian economy in a most creative way by putting forward a thesis thus: ‘Nigeria passes the test for the necessary condition for recording a triumph over its current economic setback. The resilience of Nigeria’s economy and sources of the solutions to the economic challenge are paradoxically embedded in the major sources of the problem. First, we see the logic of this thesis in the external sector – the import structure and the export structure. Using 2014 figures, Nigeria’s consumer goods’ imports (including food imports) amounted to $29billion.

Applying the right collective attitude, we should programme to reduce this, in the minimum, by 50 per cent in the next 3-5 years, achieve a cumulative reduction of 75 per cent in the next 5-7 years and a further cumulative reduction of 85 per cent in the next 7-10 years. This will give an average annual forex savings of $15billion, $22billion and $25billion respectively in the next three phases.’
This approach can be applied to so many sectors of the economy. For example, the textile sector which has been moribund (or almost non-existent) for decades now and which, in its hey days, contributed a great deal to the GDP through job creation, value addition and income generation.

Its comatose nature is what gave rise to the dominance of Chinese or other imported textile products in the country. Or is it the Oil Mills, Cotton Ginneries, auto plants or steel manufacturing companies that have remained underutilised for so long? The fact is that there is so much idle capacity in the economy which, if properly deployed, can generate enough inflows to take care of the challenge of repaying a Eurobond debt which, in percentage terms, does not pose a threat to an economy of the size of Nigeria’s. But to do so effectively, we must first secure the funds and use them to fight the ravaging effects of the current recession.

Isaac wrote in from Lagos

]]> (Super User) Business Mon, 19 Dec 2016 12:32:05 +0000