Dangote Group Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has concluded plans to set up a $100 million vehicle assembly plant in Lagos to tap the opportunity provided by the scarcity of forex and help tackle employment situation in the country. The plant will be churning out heavy duty trucks on which his conglomerate, the Dangote Group spends huge amount to import for distribution of its products both locally and across the continent.
Chief Corporate Communication Officer of Dangote Group, Mr. Anthony Chiejina confirmed the project, saying Dangote would be partnering a leading Chinese Company, National Heavy Duty Truck Group Company Limited, SINOTRUK to produce several thousands of trucks used mainly for haulage from its newly promoted assembly plant at Ikeja, Lagos.
It was gathered that 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 in the country.
The multi-million dollars deal expected to have an assembly plant that would produce 10,000 trucks annually was signed in May 2014 in China, making it the eighth of Shandong, China (SINOTRUK), to be built abroad.
According to source, the plant is 60 per cent owned by Dangote Group, trading under Dangote Industries Limited, leaving SINOTRUK with the remaining 40 per cent 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 hub, 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.