President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has said that despite the challenging economic situation in 2019, Dangote Cement was able to sustain 54,000 jobs in four African countries, where the company has its operations. The countries are Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal and South Africa.
The business mogul who disclosed this to shareholders at the company’s 11th Annual General Meeting in Lagos said that more jobs would be created as the company intensifies the export of clinker to other neighboring countries from Nigeria.
“According to our 2019 socio-economic impact assessment study specifically on our operations in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, and South Africa, we sustained 54,005 jobs (direct, indirect, induced) in these four markets in the year under review,” he said.
Dangote told the shareholders that the year 2019 was a strong year given the tough business environment across most of its operating geographics, disclosing that the group recorded volumes of 23.7 million metric tons and revenues of ₦891.7 billion.
He said: “We recorded a strong EBITDA margin of 44.3 percent. As a result of this performance, the board has recommended for your approval a dividend of ₦16.00 per ordinary 50 kobo share.”
Speaking on the local Nigerian operations, he said: “Nigeria’s cement market grew slightly in 2019. We estimate that total market consumption was up between 2 per cent-3 percent on the 20.7Mt estimated in 2018.”
Dangote explained that the modest performance was in spite of the fact that the market generally was impacted negatively by the disruptions related to the 2019 election cycles, heavy rains and the loss in land export volumes due to the border closure.
“Dangote Cement’s Nigerian operations remained at 14.1Mt in 2019, including export sales of 0.45Mt. Domestic sales in Nigeria were nearly 13.7Mt, compared to 13.4Mt in 2019. This implies a 2 percent growth mirroring the estimated GDP growth for the year. However, land exports reduced to 0.45Mt from 0.7Mt for the full year owing to the border closure in the last few months of 2019.
“The Bag of Goodies promotion, launched in July, drove strong increases in our Nigerian volumes in the third quarter”, Dangote pointed out, adding that the innovative marketing effort enabled the company to maintain its market share despite the 4.5Mt new capacity which came into the market during the year.”
He alluded to the new feat by Dangote Cement in commencing export of clinker via shipping from the Apapa and Onne ports to West and Central Africa, adding that the management was encouraged by the performance of its offshore operations.
Recall that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, while lauding the investment drive of Dangote recently said that he was excited with the progress made at Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical plant so far, said that when it becomes operational, the refinery and petrochemical plant would increase its workforce from the current 34,000 to over 70,000.
Naira strengthens against dollar
Barely 24 hours, the Naira was forced to a downward trajectory by dollar scarcity, it bounced back, closing at N477 to a dollar at the parallel market in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N608 and N550, respectively.
The Naira, however, weakened marginally at the investor’s window, losing one point to close at N386 to a dollar.
The volume of trade at the window shrunk by 1.83 million dollars when compared to Tuesday, to close at 18.44 million dollars
The Nigerian currency exchanged at N381 to a dollar at the official CBN window.
Oyo govt. will continue to support SMEs, Olaniyan assures
The Deputy Governor of Oyo state, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan has reassured the state’s government commitment to supporting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the state,
The deputy governor gave the assurance at the Commissioning of a new shopping mall ATM located in the Oke Ado area of Ibadan.
Olaniyan noted that small scale businesses with adequate support have the potential to be a major employer of labour.
He reiterated the state’s government desire to support entrepreneurs who chose to do business in the state, stressing that the present administration has put necessary machinery in place to make doing business in Oyo state stress free.
Alhaja Adeogun Tunrayo Muslimat, owner of ATM mall had earlier informed that her desire to set up business in the state aside profit was also borne out of her avidity to support the government in the area of job creation, and also boost the economy of her home state.
AfDB urges central banks to cut interest rates
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has urged central banks on the continent to act quickly by cutting interest rates to inject liquidity in view of impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The AfDB , in its African Economic Outlook 2020 supplement amid coronavirus pandemic released on Tuesday gave the advice.
According to the bank, the targeted interventions should be implemented for affected firms and sectors and use macroprudential and unconventional monetary policy to support the economy.
It added that central banks could resort to their own forms of quantitative easing, targeted at funding the most affected sectors such as firms in the hospitality and entertainment industry.
The bank noted that other sectors to be assisted are airlines, hotel chains, logistics and sports by temporarily reprofiling or restructuring their debts.
AfDB emphasised that the apex banks could also support vulnerable groups by designing programmes targeted at micro enterprises and the unbanked in the informal sector, financed by government and potentially run by other agencies closer to the ground.
“The impact of COVID–19 on Africa’s labour markets will have disproportionate impacts on vulnerable groups, notably youth and women, who are engaged in the informal sector, or with only casual job opportunities in the formal sector.
“Assist vulnerable groups, especially youth and women. The COVID–19 pandemic can have differentiated socioeconomic impacts,” the AfDB said.
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