By Bennett Oghifo
The President of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has so far invested over N63 billion to the South East economy of Nigeria by having trucks built for him at the Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO) in Enugu.
Dangote’s trucks are assembled by a Chinese company, Shacman Trucks, through its Nigerian franchise holder, Transit Support Services Limited (TSS), which has an arrangement with ANAMMCO to use its production lines.
This was stated by the Chief Executive Officer, TSS, Mr. Frank Nneji at a Press conference held at ANAMMCO in Enugu State, recently.
Nneji, who is also the Managing Director, ABC Transport, stated that the partnership with Dangote had been on since the past five years through their subsidiary, TSS, which he said is the number one Chinese truck maker.
“I remember more than five years ago when we started the local assembling of Shacman Trucks; we had actually received a mail from Nigerian Automotive Council that Dangote was looking for locally produced trucks or people who had capacity to produce trucks locally for his needs despite the fact that Dangote could import his trucks fully built irrespective of the duty,” he said.
“We got there and we were able to engage the Dangote Group, giving the opportunity to test out our trucks of about 49 units we already produced. Between 2016 and 2017, we went into an arrangement by offering Dangote our logistic solution to enable him get the trucks seamlessly and to also engage the huge capacity available in the South-East of Nigeria, here in ANAMMCO,” he said.
ANAMMCO is a plant built and commissioned in 1980, by the federal government, which used to be in collaboration with Mercedes Benz. The Auto Industry had since gone down over a long period, prior to the inception of the automotive policy, he said.
“The coming back of ANAMMCO was actually as a result of the auto policy, which is also one of the benefits. Another and major benefit is the benefit of Dangote’s patronage in identifying the plant that has the capacity in the South-east, he stated.
“Dangote has given us the opportunity of producing these trucks locally, instead of importing them, and you know what this does for us here in the South-east,” he said.
“The ANAMMCO plant was shut down, and there was no activity until Shacman came here and we had an agreement; so we started skeletally. Until we offered the logistic solution to Dangote and the production facility of ANAMMCO, before operation commenced in 2016,” he said.
Nnaji stated that the agreement of 2016 gave rise to the signing of a pact for the production of 500 units of trucks.
This initial capacity surge brought about the coming back of ANAMMCO workers who had been at home.
Some local suppliers of parts, lubricants, electrolytes, and lots more, come back to work, doing business.
“This is Enugu, and we use the Onne Port to bring in these goods and of course, we have people complaining that the port is moribund, which is not so, as all containers are directed here,” he said.
Since 2016 till now, courtesy of Dangote Group, Onne Port has had over 3,000 containers coming into this place, so you see how we explore capacity by utilising the local capacity available due to Dangote Group patronage,” he said.
“Each time we approached Dangote, he gives consideration to the South-East, for the sake of ANAMMCO, that we should always have something to do here, and we feel that is a way Dangote Group is keeping the South-East economy running,” he said.
According to the National automotive Policy, Enugu and Nnewi has been designated as the automotive centre for the South-East because of the stay of ANAMMCO over a period and the presence of technical capacity.
There is also a training school that produces technicians, young school leavers within ANAMMCO, he said.
“So, in the South-East here, we produce quality trucks, with Dangote as our largest single patron. 90 per cent of the trucks produced here are for Dangote, right now we have about 300 units, having done more than 800 last year. Totally, we have done almost 3000 units for Dangote Group,” he said.