By Oluwafunke Ishola
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Industries, says his continuous efforts to innovate, create value and invest in Nigeria’s economy is borne out of his firm belief in its vast economic potential.
Dangote said this during Dangote Cement Distributor’s Award Night on Monday in Lagos.
He said his target was to ensure that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in all the sectors where Dangote Industries have its footprint — cement, agriculture, mining and petroleum.
The industrialist noted that the company was at the forefront in exploring opportunities targeted at the diversification of the economy and had continued to roll out massive agricultural projects across the country.
“We have started in rice, while plans are underway for dairy farming. Our push for backward integration in providing our own raw materials on a massive scale has led to the planned investment of 4.6 billion dollars over the next three years in sugar, rice and dairy production alone.
“That will eliminate the country’s reliance on imported food and the foreign exchange outflow that comes with it,” he said.
The industrialist noted that the award was to celebrate its valued customers and distributors for their unflinching partnership in ensuring that Dangote cement products remained the first choice for construction purposes across the country.
“You have made Dangote Cement become a household name and the product of choice among cement users in Nigeria.
“We are leaders in all the sectors where we play, and this demands continuous improvement and partnership with you, our customers.
“Our cement plant in Obajana, Kogi State, is already the biggest in Africa. We are building the fifth line, and hopefully it will come on stream early next year and will make its production 16.25 million tonnes.
“The cement plant and its sisters in Ibeshe, Ogun and Gboko, Benue have long been the bedrock of our leading role in the cement sector.
“Therefore, we are rewarding customers for growth. If they grow, we grow. We grow together,” he said.
Dangote pledged his commitment to the continued innovation toward creating more value for customers as well as stakeholders.
The overall National Best Growth customers rewarded were D.C. Okika Ltd, Lafenax Ltd., Gilbert Igweka Global Concept, Chinedu & Sons Ltd, and Kazab Heritage Ltd.
Also, some of the best Corporate Customers were CCECC Nig. Ltd, ITB Concrete, Julius Berger Nig. Ltd, Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company, EXTEX Group and Setraco Nigeria Ltd.
Dangote Cement posted a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N390.32 billion in its 2018 operations, as against N204.25 billion achieved in 2017.
Besides, the company has maintained its dominance of the Nigerian market, accounting for 65 per cent of the total volume sold in the domestic cement sector in 2018.
Cement revenue from its Nigerian operations increased by 11.9 per cent to N618.3 billion from N552.4 billion. (NAN)