Dangote Sinotruk West Africa Limited on Monday unveiled plans to increase its local input into the assembling plant to up to 60 per cent within the next year and to roll out commercial vehicles soon.
The expansion drive, which is part of the backward integration plan, is meant to enhance value addition and local content.
The Group General Manager of the company, Hikmat Thapa, gave these hints during a facility tour of the Ikeja-Lagos plant by the Lagos State Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye.
Thapa explained that having done with the phase one of the project, the company had commenced on the phase two which has to do with adding of the facility for cab welding, painting & trimming.
The automobile expert said further that the third phase of the project expansion would be to add the facility that would be used to fabricate, paint and assemble different type of trailer bodies, load bodies with dual & triple axles, tipper bodies & tankers and so on.
According to him, the company currently has installed capacity to assemble and produce 15 –16 trucks per shift or 10,000 trucks annually and will create over 3000 different jobs nationwide.
He expatiated: The company has the plan to have welding & painting shops to fabricate and paint truck cabin and trailers of different type so as to enhance local content of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) operation of commercial vehicle manufacturing,
“In next one year, we have on our agenda to assemble and fabricate Truck Cabins, different type of trailers, Tipper bodies and tankers, etc in our plan to increase value additions up 40 – 60 %”, Thapa added.
He explained that the company’s target was to expand sales to all the neighbouring West African countries, saying “we are targeting to sell our products to ECOWAS countries in addition to fulfilling local market requirement.”
In his remarks, the Commissioner expressed surprise at the level of activities going on at the plant and commended the entrepreneurial spirit of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Chairman of the company, whose businesses are geared towards touching lives.
Oladunjoye expressed optimism that with the level at which the company was making progress, it would soon be a matter of time when Nigerians would have better opportunity to buy vehicles at cheaper costs.
She urged other entrepreneurs in the country to emulate Alhaji Dangote in the efforts to create jobs through manufacturing rather than importation of finished products.
The Dangote Sinotruk West Africa Limited, is a Joint Venture (JV) between Dangote Industries Limited and Sinotruck of China with the total investment of $100 million formed for assembling different types of trucks. Dangote Industries has 65 percent equity of the company while Sinotruk has 35 percent.
The company was established to assemble and produce full range of commercial vehicles covering heavy duty truck, medium truck, light truck and other semi-trailers etc.