Dangote Cement Plc has announced plans to attract $700 million in foreign exchange from the exportation of the product to boost Nigeria's economy.The company also said the two cement terminals located in Onne, River State, and Lagos State will be completed before year end.
The company Chairman, Aliko Dangote, while addressing shareholders at the 10th yearly general meeting in Lagos, yesterday, said: "We have a lot of on-going projects aimed at increasing capacity, and by next year, we will not only export one million tonnes as we normally do now, we will be servicing both the domestic and other African countries from Nigeria.
"We will have a capacity of about eight million tonnes to export and that will generate a foreign exchange of about $700 million into the country, to assist the federal government and the group in its other activities across Africa."
Besides, shareholders at the meeting approved a total of N272.6 billion dividends, translating to N16 per share due to every investor of the company for the 2018 financial year.Furthermore, Dangote expressed optimism on the prospect of the company, as it will be effectively operating in a minimum of 18 African countries in a short, while by increasing the capacity of its Obajana Plant to 16 million metric tonnes; it becomes one of the biggest cement plants in the world.
"All these, surely will translate to an enhanced value appreciation to the shares of Dangote Cement, and more money in the pockets of the shareholders", he told the excited shareholders. Dangote described 2018 as the most successful for the company, as it recorded an increase in cement sales by7.4per cent to 23.5 million tonnes, and 11.9 per cent growth in revenues to N901.2 billion.
"Sales of cement from our Nigerian plants increased by 11.4 per cent to 14.2 million metric tonnes in 2018. Our Pan-African operations contributed 9.4 million metric tonnes, level on 2017, with strong performances in Cameroon, Senegal, and Zambia helping to offset weaknesses in Ethiopia, and gas turbines now operating in Tanzania, we expect these two large plants to improve their performance in 2019, further increasing profitability."
Speaking further on the firm's expansion dream, Dangote said: "Later in 2019, we will open export facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt that will enable us to export clinker, initially to our grinding plants we are building in West Africa.
"Not only will these generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support other expansion projects outside of Nigeria, they will also help to increase the output of our Nigerian plants. They will also help to improve job creation, and increase prosperity in Nigeria, something of which all stakeholders can be proud when achieved."
Also, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Makoju said the company will focus on efficiency gains, and achieving higher sales in domestic and export markets in 2019.He said: "A major priority for us is to get these export terminals on stream so we can replace non-African imports in Cameroon, rake in foreign currency for Nigeria, and increase the utilisation of our Nigerian plants."
Speaking on behalf of shareholders, the National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association, Chief Sunny Nwosu, expressed satisfaction at the performance of the company, describing it as remarkable.He advised the management not to rest on its oars, as shareholders would be expecting more in the next accounting year.Beside the performance, Nwosu also said the sustainability report of the company was very commendable, noting that it has a track record of good corporate governance.