…. employs 27,952 Nigerians in 2017
Group Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Cement, Joe Makoju has revealed that the company has invested a whopping $3B to build manufacturing plants and import/grinding terminals across Africa.
The company’s operations, according to Makoju are in Cameroon (1.5Mta clinker grinding), Congo (1.5Mta), Ghana (1.5Mta import), Ethiopia (2.5Mta), Senegal (1.5Mta), Sierra Leone (0.7Mta import), South Africa (2.8Mta), Tanzania (3.0Mta), Zambia (1.5Mta).
For the second quarter under review, Makoju also revealed that while total Nigeria sales volumes went up by 13.9 per cent to 7.8Mt, Pan-African volumes reduced by 3.9 per cent, mainly due to shutdown in Tanzania.
In all, the company, which employed 27,952 workers in Nigeria in 2017 had its revenue increased by 16.9 per cent and its earning per share also increased by 3 per cent to N6.60 kobo per share for the second quarter, ended in June 30, 2018.
Makoju said: ““Our first-half performance was very strong and driven by an excellent recovery in Nigeria, where our sales volumes increased by nearly 14 per cent and revenues rose by more than 18 per cent. Pan-African operations saw a slight fall in volumes but both revenues and EBITDA increased because of better pricing and currency conversion effects.
In addition, we achieved the largest-ever issuance of Commercial Paper by a Nigerian company when we issued ₦50B Series 1 & 2 Notes at the end of June, with a discount rate that reflected the strength of our Company and its excellent credit ratings.
Of course, our strong performance has been overshadowed by the tragic and heartbreaking events in Ethiopia. I would like to pay tribute to my colleagues Deep Kamra, Beakal Alelign and Tsegaye Gidey and offer our sincere condolences to their families.”
It would be recalled that the Chairman of Dangote Cement, at the company’s recently concluded annual general meeting (AGM), Aliko Dangote attributed the 31 per cent increase in the company’s revenue, of N805.6 billion, for the 2017 financial year, to its pan African operations growth which also recorded a significant increase in revenue from N195 billion to N258.4 billion in 2017.
He said: “Pan African operations increased volumes by 8.4 per cent, with Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon and South Africa all performing strongly and close to their operating capacity”
Noting that the company experienced some challenges in operating in sub-Saharan Africa, Dangote said the Management responded in robust fashion and benefited from “…the diversity we have created across our business and because of our local knowledge and attitudes towards doing business in neighboring countries in Africa.”
Explaining the rationale behind the success recorded by the Dangote Cement’s revenue, the acting Group Chief executive, Joe Makoju said “… the increase was helped by our decision to increase our use of local coal in Nigeria and that also helped to improve our fuel security, maintain production uptime and it reduced our need for foreign currency. We source coal from our parent company, Dangote Industries and from another Nigerian supplier, and we are very happy with the way this has worked out for us because it has enabled us to phase out the use of expensive low pour fuel oil in our kilns and also to reduce our use of imported coal”
On the future growth plans for the Group, Makoju said “…As it stands, I think we will focus on building new grinding plants along the coast of West Africa, and ensure we have clinker export facilities in Nigeria. We are looking at the possibility of two new lines in Nigeria, perhaps by the end of 2020 and its likely these will be in Edo state and Obajana, with a combined capacity of 6Mta”
Microsoft 4Afrika partners FirstBank to support SMEs
On 18 January 2019, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, together with Microsoft 4Afrika, will host a free-to-attend event for SMEs in Nigeria, designed to promote technology adoption and skills development.
The event will serve as an official launch of the new partnership between Microsoft 4Afrika and FirstBank, following a memorandum of understanding signed earlier in June 2018. The partnership seeks to build the capacity of local SMEs andaccelerate their digital transformation, by providing them with exclusive and tailored non-financial solutions. Participants will be exposed to skills development resources, access to business networks and an educational platform.
According to Taiwo Shonekan, Head Customer Experience and Value Management, First Bank of Nigeria Limited: “This partnership with Microsoft enables us to deliver a portfolio of non-financial solutions to our SME customers. We have over the last 125 years supported SMEs in building their business, whilst contributing to the national economy. This partnership is a landmark step in our quest to leverage the influence of technology in businesses, especially in today’s digital age.”
“With this partnership, FirstBank customers can buy Microsoft products at discounted rates in the local currency – the naira – as this seamlessly aids technology adoption, skills and capacity development among SMEs in Nigeria,” she adds.
Amrote Abdella, Regional Director of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative and the keynote speaker for the event says: “For SMEs, integrating technology into their operations is no longer an option, but a necessity for future growth and success. We’re looking forward to engaging in discussions that explore how technology can extend reach to new markets and improve productivity, which results in better customer service, more competitive offerings and the ability to act with agility.”
Across the continent, Microsoft 4Afrika is forging partnerships with several players in the SME ecosystem – from banks to telcos – to enhance SME offerings and reach a broader audience.
“Technology and the relevant digital skills today play such an integral role in business success. We’re working with organisations to extend this support to as many SMEs as possible, ensuring not only their success, but the growth and competiveness of our continent in an increasingly digital world.”
Access Bank, Diamond Bank to unveil new identity after merger
The corporate identity of Access Bank Plc may have to change after the conclusion of its merger with Diamond Bank Plc in June 2019, Mr Herbert Wigwe and Mr Uzoma Dozie, CEOs of Access Bank and Diamond Bank respectively hinted in Lagos recently
While addressing customers of the financial institution, Mr Dozie said Access Bank will retain its name after the merger, while Diamond Bank will definitely lose its.
However, he disclosed that the new corporate identity of the new enlarged bank will reflect individual identities of the two merging lenders.
Late last year, Diamond Bank, a tier-1 one lender and Access Bank, a tier-2 financial institution, confirmed that they were coming together to become one.
This came after both companies had initially denied media reports that they were planning such move.
At the customer forum in Lagos, Mr Dozie, while responding to a question on whether the enlarged bank will have a new name, said, “I believe that the name will be Access Bank, but the identity will be the one that is recognised by both Access Bank and Diamond Bank.
“So, it will be……just as we have come here today to inform you of what we are doing and get your feedback, we are also going to have a customer forum to help us decide what is the best identity that when people see, they will say this is Diamond Bank, this is Access Bank.”
Giving more insight into Mr Dozie’s point, Mr Wigwe said, “Let me just add to that point, if you go to global banks like Barclays Bank and HSBC that have gone through mergers and acquisitions, you can keep an identity, but you can also make sure you reflect the identity of the different institutions and what they do.
“So, the retail will look like what you see in Diamond Bank so you don’t lose your connection; that is how it happens.
“If you look at the corporate logo and how things will come out, you will not see that you’ve not lost anything.
“Same thing for Access Bank customers, because you know we were also at the corporate end. We also have to be mindful of these customers as well.
“So, we have to do something that will sit nice for Access Bank customers and also sit nice for the retail business of Diamond Bank.”
At the moment, Access Bank logo has ‘access’ written in white colour on a blue background strip with three orange colour ‘>’ sign placed at the end of the word (access>>>).
UBA Customers win N30m in Wise Savers promo, N90m still up for grabs
Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has rewarded 20 loyal customers with N1,500,000 each, in the first edition of its quarterly draw for the ongoing UBA Wise Savers Promo, which was held at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos on Tuesday.
At the event, a total of N30,000,000 was won by 20 lucky customers who were selected following a draw that was witnessed by key regulatory officials including representatives of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, (NLRC); Lagos State Lottery, Board, (LSLB) Consumer Protection Council (CPC) as well as members of the media.
To qualify for the draws, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to save at least N10,000 each month for three consecutive months, or N30,000 for 90 days in the promo, which will run for the rest of the year. Apart from the N30 million won by 20 customers on Tuesday, another N90 million is still expected to be won by 60 more loyal customers in the remaining three quarters of the year.
The winners, who cut across all regions of the country, are: Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn; Onwochei Christiana Okwukwe; Eze Mathias Nnaji; Christian N Orie; Uka, Okwudiri; Okata Stephen Uche; Okafor Onyinye Esther; Nwanekezi Chimezie Jude; Ayomide V Yahaya and Olanegan, Oyetunde Keji.
Others are Emmanuel Onu Chidozie; Mohammed Fatima; Aminu, Mustapha; James Nanre; Pahinti Albert; Emmanuel O Adeniji; Jaki Movihinze Mercy; Saminu Muritala Mohammed; Ezeh Raphael Uballa; Uchenna Iheji.
When contacted on the phone, one of the 20 lucky winners; Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn, excitedly expressed gratitude to the bank and said he was happy to be a customer of the bank. He thanked the bank, and said the move was thoughtful and will help to enrich customers especially during these trying economic times.
The Group Executive, Digital and Consumer Banking, Mr. Anant Rao, who addressed participants at the event, said the promo was launched as part of the bank’s initiatives towards prioritising customers. He added that customers who save consistently would be rewarded in order to promote the financial inclusion initiatives of the bank. ‘We believe it is time we rewarded our customers who have been very loyal over the years. Without them, we would not have made the giant strides attained thus far’ .
According to Rao, “Because our customers are invaluable to all that we do, we listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve’
“We remain committed to consistently improving customer service and rewarding our loyal customers. The Wise Savers Promo seeks to compliment current initiatives aimed at growing savings,” he noted.