Dangote Sinotruck West Africa Limited, a multi-million Nigeria truck assembly plant established in Lagos by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has rolled out its first set of locally assembled trucks for local consumption.
The $100 million project which is supporting full employment of 3,000 Nigerians to boost the national economy, also aims to meet an expected increased demand for logistics, construction and other industries in the country.
Disclosing this on Tuesday, during a media tour of the facility in Ikeja, the company’s Group General Manager, Projects, Mr Hikmat Thapa, said the truck plant which is 65 per cent owned by Dangote and 35 per cent by Sinotruk, will assemble and produce full range of commercial vehicles covering heavy duty truck, medium truck, light truck and other semi-trailers.
During the tour of the plant, Thapa showcased a couple of measures put in place for quality control at different stages of production, while he said the newly rolled out trucks have undergone necessary technical tests making them fit for Nigeria roads.
Speaking further in company of other management staff, Thapa said the plant is currently running an eight-hour work shift but hopes to begin full working shift in May, while the second shift which starts in June, will do 24-hour daily production.
Though currently assembling between four to five trucks per day, Thapa said the plant has the capacity to assemble and produce 16 trucks a day, which amounts to 10,000 trucks annually.
From June when the second phase of production starts with two shifts of 24-hour daily operation, the company hopes to move from Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) components to Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts assembly.
“Currently we are starting with SKD and now waiting for the CKD parts coming at the end of the month, but as soon as we move on to 24-hour daily operation, we will churn out between 20 and 30 trucks per day,” Thapa said.
With all these, he said the company aims to provide new employment opportunities, improve local automobile technology, equipment and technology level, and promote the economic development in Nigeria.
The company said “with the formation of the production base, not only the market demands in Nigeria can be met, but also the requirements of covering the neighbouring countries will be gradually met.”
Besides, Dangote Sinotruk also makes contributions to build friendly relationships between China and Nigeria, the company said.
Apart from local assembling of trucks, the plant will also start the production of cabins needed by the locally assembled vehicles, and form its production line with local content plus imported ones, while engine production is also part of the company’s programmes.
Thapa said the partnership with Sinotruk, China, will be of a great advantage to boost the technological advancement of the company, being the cradle China’s heavy-duty truck, and the largest production and export base for heavy-duty truck in China.
Established in 1960, Sinotruk which is reputable for manufacturing of heavy duty truck, medium truck, light truck, bus, other special purpose trucks and military trucks, is a publicly traded company in HKSE main board in 2007, with more than 48,000 employees.
Source: Naija News