|Photo via Guardian Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu|
The Sokoto Cement (Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc) has concluded better arrangements to build two additional power plants that would enable it to generate about 60 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity by 2017.
The firm is presently generating 16mw of electricity from its biomass plant for its use and those of the adjourning communities where it operates. The company promised to reduce its current N1.3billion debt by increasing the price of its products, increase marketing strategies as well as reducing all administrative costs to the barest minimum.
Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman of the company made this known last week during the company’s 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Abuja.
According to him, “The project for production capacity increase and the conversion of the existing production line to solid fuels-coal is ongoing and is expected to reach completion by mid-2017, the use of solid fuels as the main energy for the kiln will considerably reduce the company’s operational costs and its debt profile.’’
He lamented several challenges that faced the company last year.
He said, “The company has to at intermittent periods during the last quarter of 2015 shut down the plant due to scarcity and the high cost of energy. Despite some of these challenges, the Board resolved and recommended the payment of a gross dividend of 10kobo per share compared to the 35kobo it declared in the 2014 financial year.”
According to him, during the year in review, the company also recorded a turnover of N13,037 billion compared to N15,119 billion recorded in 2014, while the profit after tax was N1,201billion compared to N1,918billion in 2014.
He further explained, “Weak demand for cement particularly in the second half of the year, mainly contributed to the turnover and lower profits compared to that of 2014.”