THE President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has thrown his weight behind the border closure policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
In a statement made available to our correspondent in Lagos on Thursday, Dangote debunked insinuations that the policy was responsible for the drop in Dangote Cement’s profitability for the year 2019.
He said the border closure policy was the best for the country’s economy at this point in time.
The president of the group said Dangote Cement was building its terminals across Africa and the border closure could not in any way impact negatively on the company’s performance.
The statement issued by the group also said that the stock of Dangote Cement had remained dominant on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
It said this was buoyed by the news of a robust dividend as announced by the management of the company.
The management of the company had approved that N16 per share be paid to the shareholders despite the drop in profitability.
The statement said, “The company’s investment across Africa is also bearing the desired results as pan-African sales volume grew in the year 2019, hitting 9.6Mt from 9.4Mt.
“Dangote Cement Plant, Mtwara, Tanzania, recorded an increase of 94 per cent increase in volume within the review period. Dangote Cement Plant, Pout, Senegal put up a remarkable performance with sales up more than 100 per cent of rated capacity.”
The board had proposed a final dividend of N16 per share subject to ratification by the shareholders at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.
Speaking on the result, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Joe Makoju, said, “Dangote Cement maintained strong financial performance despite a low growth environment, pricing pressure and increasing competition in key markets.
“The Nigerian operations maintained volume and revenue performance in a challenging environment. Export sales were affected by the border closure in the second half of 2019.”
He added, “Looking ahead, I expect an increase in volumes in 2020 as we commence clinker exports via shipping from Nigeria.
“Pan-Africa volumes were slightly up, notably supported by Tanzania and Senegal. I am glad to report that Tanzania contributed positively at EBITDA level.
“In 2020, I believe Dangote Cement will see an increase in profitability in pan-Africa driven by higher volumes and further efficiency improvements.”
Makoju added that as he retired from Dangote Cement, he was proud to have watched it grow from a local producer back in 2007 to a major force in global cement production.