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FG hails Dangote for revitalising privatised firms

By News Express on 15/07/2013

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The Federal Government has commended the Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Aliko Dangote, for reviving privatised companies, despite huge challenges in Nigeria’s business climate.

Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, gave the commendation over the weekend during a visit to the Dangote Cement Plant in Gboko, Benue State, North-Central Nigeria. He expressed delight that the Dangote Group, a local company, has not let the country down in its acquisition of some of the privatised companies.

He said: “I know that many privatised companies are doing well. Dangote Cement is one of them. The whole essence of privatisation is to improve efficiency and promote investments and employment generation,” Usman said.

He advised the host communities of privatised firms to cooperate with the new owners to enhance optimum capacity utilisation and industrialisation in the country, adding that they stand a chance of benefiting more if the company receives their support.

“Such host communities would gain more employment opportunities and other social activities implemented by the companies,” the minister said. He explained that the visit was a fact-finding one aimed at ascertaining the true state of already privatised public enterprises, especially in view of the feeling in many quarters that many of them are not performing well.

Dangote Cement has upgraded the former Benue Cement Company’s (BCC) capacity to 3.0 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) from the initial installed operating capacity of 0.9 MTPA, the Plant Director, Prakash Sharma, said while briefing the minister during his visit.

Sharma said the new owners have already invested $500 million in plant rehabilitation and technological convergence, while an additional $50 million is being invested in the on-going expansion project to raise capacity to 4.0 MMTPA.

With its Obajana and Ibese plants, Dangote Cement currently produces about 20MTPA, surpassing Nigeria’s national average demand.

•Photo shows National Planning Minister, Shamsudeen Usman.

Source News Express

Posted 15/07/2013 4:41:35 PM

 

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