Nigeria Business & Finance Updates

How Dangote restored ANAMMCO, created jobs in South-East

The Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company Limited has returned to full operation, thanks to the Dangote Group. That was the takeaway from a recent tour of the massive auto assembly plant at Emene Industrial Layout near Enugu by some motoring journalists including our correspondent.

Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, did not dole out money as a show of generosity to revive the assembly plant which had been moribund for about three decades; neither did he buy shares in the company. The new lease of life at ANAMMCO came through his continued patronage of Shacman trucks now being assembled at the company.

A prominent commercial vehicle manufacturing firm established in Nigeria in 1977 as a joint venture between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Daimler-Mercedes Benz AG of Germany, ANAMMCO was inaugurated in 1980 with a production capacity of 7,500 trucks and 1,000 buses per annum.

After many years of producing vehicles to oil the nation’s economy, the auto factory was forced to shut down due to lack of patronage, economic instability and unavailability of forex.

Before it became moribund, the plant located on a 300,000 square metre site had reportedly produced over 30,000 units of commercial vehicles for the Nigerian and West African markets.

The foundation for its resuscitation was, however, laid in 2014 with the introduction of a new auto policy by the Federal Government that placed premium on local manufacture of vehicles and discouraged the importation of fully-built (used) vehicles. The policy also aimed at massive job creation, stimulating auto value chain and diversifying the Nigerian economy. Thus, the government slammed heavy import duties on all fully-built automobiles.

Currently, the Transit Support Services Limited, a subsidiary of ABC Transport Plc, rolls out 10 vehicles daily from the ANAMMCO’s truck line, which are largely purchased by the Dangote Group.

Managing Director of the ABC/TSS, Mr Frank Nneji, confirmed the number in an interview after taking journalists round the facility, showing workers on duty at different production stages.

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Already, he said the group had purchased about 3,500 trucks from the automaker worth N63bn.

The supplies, according to him, amount to over 90 per cent of all Shackman trucks so far assembled at the factory since the revival of the plant.

“About 90 per cent of trucks produced here are for Dangote. Right now at the dump, we have about 300 units. Since last year, we have done 800 units. Dangote Group since inception has bought about 3,500 units from us. It also patronises the Shackman trucks for its refinery currently being built in Lagos,” Nneji said.

Dangote first embraced the Shacman brand in 2016, about one year after the partnership between the TSS and ANAMMCO was sealed. Then, the auto firm had offered the group 49 Shacman trucks for a test drive to assess the quality of the brand.

Apparently satisfied with the performance of the trucks, the group reportedly placed an order for 350 units and has sustained the patronage.

This prompted the auto firm to recall many of the former ANAMMCO workers that were disengaged when operation became crippled, in addition to new set of employees and young school leavers engaged for industrial attachment/technical training.

He said, “This has been of tremendous benefit for the people in the South-East. For more many years, this place was shut down. There was no activity until Shackman came and we made an agreement with the Shacman Group and we started skeletally.

“We were only able to start full production of trucks when we offered logistics solutions to the Dangote Group. That was in 2016 when we started the first agreement for 500 trucks.

“With this, 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.”

It did not take long for people to notice the profound impact of the Dangote/TSS-Shacman deal on the Onne port in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

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According to Nneji, “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. This is courtesy of Dangote Group’s patronage of Shacman trucks being assembled at the Enugu plant.”

He also noted that the area around the assembly plant was fast becoming an automobile cluster making Enugu a motor city.

“This has provided training on how to produce the trucks with the well-experienced staff we have recruited. The company produces over 200 trucks monthly comprising three different models, with local content of about 22 per cent. It is capable of increasing its production if there is a demand for such,” he said.

The plant is also said to be producing the chassis numbers, which are locally generated and printed on the truck engine.

Nneji said, “There is also a training school here that produces young technicians. This place is busy producing quality trucks with Dangote as the largest single patron.”

Interestingly, the Dangote Group has a truck assembly plant in Lagos, Dangote Sinotruk West Africa Ltd, also supplying some of its vehicle needs to its various companies.

The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, Mr Sunday Esan, explained that the Dangote/TSS-Shacman is a long-term relationship.

“Dangote Group is expanding. Apart from the cement, sugar and salt factories, among others, we’re starting a petroleum refinery, the biggest in Africa. All these will require a high number of trucks. It is a long-term relationship,” he said.

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