Story by Kayode Tokede
The shareholders of Dangote Cement on Monday approved a dividend of N16 on each 50kobo share held during the 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.
Shareholders through their respective association heads, lauded the decision to increase dividend payout by 52.4 per cent from the N10. 50 per share that was paid in the corresponding period of 2017.
The National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association, Chief Sunny Nwosu expressed satisfaction at the performance of the company describing it as remarkable and unprecedented. He then advise the management not to rest on its oars as the shareholders would be expecting more in the next accounting year.
Beside the performance of the company, Nwosu also noted that the sustainability report of the company was very commendable and that nobody would not like to associate with a company like Dangote Cement with a track record of good corporate governance and sustainability development.
Speaking at the AGM, Chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote described the shareholders and staff as the bedrock of the company. He expressed optimism on the prospect of the company, revealing that the company will be effectively operating in a minimum of 18 African countries in a short while by increasing the capacity of its Obajana Plant to 16 million metric tons, making it one of the biggest cement plant in the world.
“All these, surely will translate to an enhanced value appreciation to the shares of Dangote cement and more money in the pockets of the shareholders”, he told the excited shareholders.
Dangote also revealed that the plans of the company will definitely attract a $700 million foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy through exporting of the products, thereby helping the federal government and also the group in its other activities across Africa.
In a chat with newsmen after the AGM, Dangote said: “We have a lot of on-going projects aimed at increasing capacity and by next year, we will not only export 1 million tons as we normally do now, we will be servicing both the domestic and other African countries from Nigeria. We will have a capacity of about 8 million tons to export and that will generate a foreign exchange of about $700 million into the country…”
Dangote described 2018 as the most successful for the company as it recorded an increased in cement sales by7.4per cent to 23.5 million tonnes and 11.9 per cent growth in revenues to N901.2 billion.
He further said: “Sales of cement from our Nigerian plants increased by 11.4 per cent to 14.2 million metric tons in 2018. Our Pan-African operations contributed 9.4 million metric tons, level on 2017, with strong performances in Cameroon, Senegal and Zambia helping to offset weaknesses in Ethiopia and gas turbines now operating in Tanzania, we expect these two large plants to improve their performance in 2019, further increasing profitability.”
Speaking further on the expansion dream of the company, Dangote said: “Later in 2019, we will open export facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt that will enable us to export clinker, initially to our grinding plants we are building in West Africa. Not only will these generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support other expansion projects outside of Nigeria, they will also help to increase the output of our Nigerian plants. They will also help to improve job creation and increase prosperity in Nigeria, something of which all stakeholders can be proud of”
Noting that the future looks very bright for the company, Group Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Joseph Makoju said the company in 2019 will focus on efficiency gains and achieving higher sales in domestic and export markets.
He said: “A major priority for us is to get these export terminals on stream so we can replace non-African imports in Cameroon, rake in foreign currency for Nigeria and increase the utilization of our Nigerian plants.”