Nigeria business man, Aliko Dangote, have entered into partnership with China’s heavy duty truck group, Sinotruck, is to roll out first assembled-in-Nigeria trucks next week, the Dangote Group said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Reuters, in Lagos, the Executive Director of Dangote Group, Edwin Devakumar, said that the $100 million plant would assemble cars soon.

“It aims to meet an expected increased demand for transport in the country as the government focuses on boosting agriculture and farmers need to move goods across the vast country. [The Dangote Group] has a fleet size of 12,000 trucks and large users.

“One of the biggest challenges in the market today is logistics because we do not have a proper transport network.

“The joint venture, which is 65 per cent owned by Dangote and 35 per cent by Sinotruck, will assemble components and knocked down parts imported from Sinotruck to the Nigerian plant,” Devakumar said.

Speaking further, he said the plant had the capacity to assemble 16 trucks a day and would export to West Africa, adding that the facility would expand into vehicle manufacturing.

It can be recalled that last March, Dangote bid for a majority stake in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria. The results of the sale have not yet been released.

Speaking about Dangote’s other interest, he said said the group was on track to launch its $17 billion oil refinery plant with the first crude for processing going into the plant in October 2019.

“It will handle 650,000 barrels per day. The company will scale down operations in its flour milling, sugar refinery and tomato processing businesses however, due to dollar shortages to fund the import of raw materials.

“Where the foreign exchange is not available we are cutting down our operations. For example, we had a vegetable oil refinery we have shut down; we had a tomato based processing plant we have shut down,” he said

He added the firm commissioned a new cement plant in Sierra Leone last week and expected a plant in Congo to begin production this year.

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