Sales recorded by Dangote Plants across Africa has significantly impacted on the revenue of the company for the first quarter ended on March 31, 2017 by 74 per cent to a whopping N208.2billion.
Chief executive officer of Dangote Cement, Onne van der Weijde, who revealed this while presenting the companyâ€™s first quarter results to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), also stated that the companyâ€™s earnings per share for the first quarter increased by up 36.2 per cent to â‚¦4.25.
According to him, â€œDangote Cement produced record financial results in the first three months of 2017. Despite lower Group volumes, we delivered significantly higher revenues and EBITDA after realigning prices late in 2016. Our new pricing strategy meant every tonne worked harder for us in Nigeria, delivering 78.4 per cent more EBITDA per tonne than the same quarter last year.
We have now begun sourcing a significant amount of coal from Nigerian mines owned by our parent, Dangote Industries, and this has not only helped us to improve margins but also reduced our need for imported coal and the foreign currency needed to buy it.
Our Pan-African operations performed strongly, increasing sales volumes by 21.0 per cent and revenues by 74.2 per cent. Pan-African operations now contribute nearly 28 per cent of Group revenues and we are pleased to report a good start for our new import facility in Sierra Leone. We will begin operations in Congo in the coming weeks, further consolidating our position as Sub-Saharan Africaâ€™s leading supplier of cement.â€
The federal government recently lauded Dangote Cement for its efforts in making the country to be self-sufficient in cement production. The government confirmed that Nigeria has attained self-sufficiency in the production of cement and is now an exporter of the commodity, ascribing the feat to Dangote Cement which spearheaded the â€œbackward integration policyâ€ introduced by the government.
The Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, who led a government team to the Dangote Cement plants in Ibese, Ogun State, said the government was happy with the leadership role played by Dangote Cement in executing the backward integration policy in the cement industry.
The minister said it is a success story that Nigeria, which few years ago imported over 60 per cent of her cement needs, now can produce to meet local demands and still export to other nations.
He said: â€œAs you all know, as the Federal government moves to diversify the economy away from oil, two areas the government is focusing on are agriculture and solid minerals, this is why we are embarking on tour of mining operations across the country to know the challenges they face and what could be done to tackle those challenges.
â€œWhat Dangote is doing is marvelous. We need to commend them for the way they led the backward integration policy to turn around our fortunes in the cement industry. I am delighted to see the development here bigger than what I saw the last time. And we are looking at how we can replicate the successes in the cement industry in other non-oil sectors of our economy.â€
Dangote Cement is Africaâ€™s leading cement producer with nearly 46Mta ( million metric tons per annum) capacity across Africa, a fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer with production capacity of 29.25Mta in Nigeria.
Its Obajana plant in Kogi state, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 13.25Mta of capacity across four lines.
NTDC, NANTA Partner to Promote Domestic Tourism in Nigeria
The Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Cooperation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker, has stressed the need to redefine the tourism sector. We need â€œa redefinition of what tourism is as an industry, as a site and as a channel through which we drive the increase in consumption of tour-ism assets in Nigeria. Our initial focus is on domestic tourism, to make the best use of what we have and consume more of Nigeriaâ€, he said. Coker made the remark while receiving an eight-man team of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) that paid him a courtesy visit at the NTDCâ€™s headquarters in Abuja. The NTDC boss, who described the Corporation as a corporate member of NANTA, expressed the readiness of the Corporation to be a worthy partner to NANTA in championing the course of tourism in Nigeria as well as collaborating with the association on the area of statistics and data collection, to enable private investors know which state has potential to explore and develop.
He further asked for a working partnership between private and public sector in the development and promotion of tourism in Nigeria, stating that public/private partnership will boost the tourism agenda of Nigeria.
The President of NANTA, Mr. Bankole Bernard, earlier in his speech, described the appointment of Coker as a blessing to the tourism sector, saying, â€œI am sure that the good work he did with the Lagos tourism, would be replicated in the 36 states in Nigeria.”
Bernard expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the promotion of tourism is being managed in Nigeria, saying: â€œTourism has not been well developed, promoted and packaged because the country had wholly depended and focused on the oil sector. Tourism is everything. We all have to embrace it and take it seriouslyâ€.
Bernard, who called for a conscious investment in the promotion of domestic tourism in Nigeria, described the country as a potential tourism market, with a vibrant and dynamic business environment especially with the improved Nigerianâ€™s image under the present administration.
Traders Inaugurate N3.56 Billion Shopping Facility
More than 2,550 members of the Tools and Hardware Dealers Association of Nigeria (TAHDAN) have moved out of Idumota, shutting down business activities at the ever busy Agarawu Street Tools Market on the Lagos Island.
This followed TAHDANâ€™s successful completion and opening of its new ultra modern Tools And Hardware Centerâ€ sited inside the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex along Badagry Express Way, which gulped about N3.56billion.
Commenting on the development Thursday, President of the association, Chief Jude Obika commended members of the association for their commitment and selfless sacrifices during the construction of the market.
He said: â€œThis is a great and unimaginable effort of which we are already reaping the dividends, and this will pass on to the future and unborn generations. But my greatest joy is that we have been able to contribute to building our dear nation Nigeria by humbly erecting this monumental center for international trade, economic empowerment, massive employment and industrial growth.
TAHDAN scribe, Felix Nnadi, who spoke in a separate interview with journalists said: â€œThe Tools and Hardware Dealers Association is made up of over 2,550 members excluding apprentices. Each member contributed a minimum of N850,000 to own a shop here, while personal plazas cost from N120million and above depending on the size or design of each structure. There are 3,000 lock up shops and 26 personal plazas in all.â€
The multibillion Tools And Hardware Center is comfortably located on 5,000square meter area of land formally known as Swiss Park facing the Progressives Jewelry Market. Apart from providing adequate and spacious shops for use as showroom, packing store and office apartments for all the traders and importers in particular; the Vice President of TAHDAN Kenneth Ugbajah enumerated other gains which accompany the traders movement: â€œHere, we also enjoy freedom from landlords and Area Boys harassments; free space for car park, shopping and vehicular movement; very clean and business friendly environment; and above all, the gesture is in support of the Lagos State governmentâ€™s Mega City transformation agenda which aims at decongesting and ending street trading everywhere in Lagos.â€