The plant was shut down by Tiger Branded Consumer Goods of South Africa following its acquisition of the flour mill.
As part of its restructuring process for greater market share, the reopening ceremony and commissioning of new machinery at the plant location in Kano also witnessed the rewarding of distributors at various categories.
Speaking at the commissioning of the plant in Kano at the weekend, president/chief executive, Dangote Group Ltd, Aliko Dangote, assured stakeholders that the mill is back for production and will not be shut down again.
“I would like to assure you that we are back for good and we will never close this mill again. It has always been my desire to increase our investments in Kano. We are also looking forward to venturing into farming in the state where we can create a lot of jobs, and I think this flour mill will help us achieve this feat in Kano.
“Kano is very strategic because most of our products, be it flour, sugar, pasta, enjoy a lot of patronage and support. I want to announce that we have successfully re-engineered Dangote Flour Mill so as to meet the emerging challenges in the market place and also to meet the ever changing demands of our esteemed and loyal consumers.
“We decided to make this investment in November when Tiger Branded Consumer Goods decided to leave the country and we do not want over 3000 jobs to be lost. You can imagine these 3000 people going back into the job market in Nigeria. So we decided to seek ways to assist to ensure that these jobs are secured by injecting fresh cash of about N10 billion into the business.
“Our return to Kano is actually a sign of good things to come and it is our hope that, by this move, we will create thousands of employment in the state, and not just in flour but other products.
“Very soon we will start growing wheat in Kano. I want to assure our customers that we will continue to support you to make sure that we assist you with the necessary things needed to make your businesses a lot easier and more profitable.
“I am looking forward to you supporting the entire team to make sure the company surpasses its target of 900,000 metric tonnes of wheat yearly. I want to assure you that with the new board we have, this company will definitely excel with or without my presence”, he added.
Chairman, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Ighodalo Asue noted that Kano remains one of the firm’s biggest markets and the management is happy to be reinvigorating the plant.
“We bought back Dangote Flour Mill from Tiger Branded and by this move, it means we have a stronger, better sophisticated and more focused Dangote Flour Mills.
“Since the takeover, we have taken a lot steps to reposition the company through expansion to drive growth. We are also using this medium to restate our commitment to increasing our shareholders value and our dear customers.
“Let me assure you that we will continue to invest in the state and other parts of the country and even beyond the country, because we believe in job and wealth creation. It is our hope that our return to Kano will create more job opportunities and impact positively on the economy of the state.”
He further commended Aliko Dangote for his investment in Dangote Flour Mills.
“A few months ago when Tiger Branded Company was going to leave the country, it appeared that the fate of the company was in jeopardy, but Aliko Dangote’s decision to buy back the company has saved the jobs of about 3,000 employees and the shares of over a million shareholders. More importantly, the multiplier effect of his investment in the country is immeasurable”, he said
Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, who is overseeing the construction of the refinery, said construction work on the projects would be completed by 2017 while refining operation would commence by 2018.
“The 650,000 barrels per day capacity refinery will meet the 2018 deadline,” he said.
The 650,000BOPD Dangote Crude Oil Refinery, currently under construction, will sell its products to wholesale suppliers, not retailers, according to officials of the Dangote Industries.
If the price of its gasoline is higher than the subsidized price, the buyers pay Dangote Refinery in full and then get the subsidy from government.
He said that the refinery would buy crude oil at international prices once the plant is commissioned, expectedly, in 2019.
He acknowledges that there is no consensus on the volume of petrol in demand, “but whatever it is we will be able to supply it”
He is looking forward to commissioning the Three Million Tonne Per Annum (3MMTPA) Ammonia Fertiliser plant by 2018.
“This is the largest single train refining plant in the world”, he gushed about the refinery project.
Three Single Point Mooring (SPM) Bouys on the Atlantic Ocean, will bring in the crude, which will be delivered to the plant through a 20km pipeline.
Edwin, a chartered engineer and Indian national vested with the responsibility of overseeing all the plants in the Dangote Group, said that the refinery was designed to utilise all African crudes. One option was to reduce ourselves to Nigerian crude”, he said. But the company decided to “build in flexibility to minimise the risks,” he added.