Dangote: We acquired 3,500 trucks worth N65bln from TSS, ANAMMCO to promote made in Nigeria products

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Moses Akaigwe

The Dangote Group has explained that an interplay of factors, including the desire to have an impactful presence in the South-East, the recognition of Shacman as reliable heavy duty vehicles, and the growing need for such vehicles within the continuously expanding conglomerate, influenced its decision to patronise the trucks from ANAMMCO.

So far {since 2016}, Dangote has ordered no fewer than 3, 500 Shacman vehicles of various models valued at about N63 billion The vehicles are assembled at the ANAMMCO plant in Emene, near Enugu, in partnership with Transit Support Services {TSS}.

Speaking during a tour of the plant on Saturday, General Manager, Corporate Communications, Esan Sunday, said that with the industrial conglomerate’s many interests and projects, the latest of which are the construction of a refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, and the phosphate fertilizer project, the need for heavy duty vehicles is always inevitable.

Esan further explained that though the Group has its own plant, Dangote Sinotruk West Africa Ltd, which also produces trucks, the desire to cover the South-East, coupled with the fact that its needs far outstrip the installed capacity of the Lagos auto factory, made it opt for the Shacman range from ANAMMCO.

He said it would, therefore, be erroneous to claim that the Group has been discriminating against the economy of the South-Eastern part of the country in its investments, stressing that the current relationship with TSS and ANMAMCO, is not short-term, but one that would be sustained over a long period.

“We will obviously rely even more on this {ANAMMCO} plant for our heavy duty truck needs”, the Dangote General Manager assured with an emphasis that suggested the Group is satisfied with the performance of the Shacman vehicles already on duty in various parts of the country. ‘The vehicles are among the best for our kind of operations.”

Dangote first embraced the Shacman brand in 2016, about one year after the partnership between TSS, a sister company of ABC Transport Plc, and ANAMMCO, was consummated with the roll-out of the first batch of trucks.

Satisfied with the functionality of the 49 units provided for trial and the initial order for 350, Dangote had since followed up with more purchases – the most recent of which were still being assembled during the tour on Saturday.

The immediate effect of the huge orders is that the plant which was almost dormant for many years, came alive again as the factory workers laid off as the fortunes of the company dipped, were recalled to join the assembly of the vehicles.

This was confirmed by the Managing Director of TSS, Frank Nneji, who disclosed that the benefits of ANAMMCO’s return are being felt in many areas in the auto industry in the South-East, especially in the supply of local input.

Nneji remarked, “With this {Dangote patronage}, many workers of ANAMMCO who had been at home had to come back to work. Some local suppliers of lubricants, electrolyte and the rest, had to return to business.

“And, because we are in Enugu, we use the Onne port to bring in vehicle components. From 2016, the Onne port has handled more than 3,000 containers of truck components for the ANAMMCO plant.”

Nneji hailed Dangote for being patriotic enough to look inwards in sourcing its vehicles, stating that the practice and its benefits are in tandem with the aims of the automotive policy {Nigeria Automotive Industry Development Plan {NAIDP}.

“What we are seeing in ANAMMCO coming back is actually as a result of this auto policy. This is one of the benefits. And the second thing is the benefit of Dangote’s patronage in identifying a plant that has capacity in the South-East, in Enugu, to give us the opportunity to produce trucks locally instead of importing them. And of course, you know what it does for us here in the South East.”

Presently, about 90 percent of Shacman vehicles assembled at ANAMMCO is delivered to Dangote, while the rest are taken by other truck users.

Built by the Germans, ANAMMCO was officially commissioned in 1980 with capacity to produce 7.500 trucks per annum in one shift. It was also built to produce mass transit buses.

During the visit, both the General Manager, Logistics, Iheanyi Ogbonna, and the Plant Manager, Emulor, took the guests through the various stages of Shacman assembly – from the pre-assembly line, to the finish line, from where the vehicle proceeds to the purpose-built test-track.

Emulor disclosed that all things being equal about 10 trucks are assembled daily, and about 50 in a week.

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