Sokoto Cement to generate new 60MW electricity in 2017
• Takes measures to reduce N1.3bn debt
• Declares gross dividend of 10kobo per share
To reduce the high cost of energy consumption for production processes, the Sokoto Cement (Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc) has concluded better arrangements to build two additional power plants that would enable it generate about 60 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity by 2017.
Presently, the company is generating 16mw 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.
The Chairman of the company, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, disclosed this last week during the company’s 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Abuja ‘’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 said.
Rabiu, who lamented several challenges that faced the company last year said: ‘’The company has to at intermittent periods during the last quarter of 2015 shut down the plant due to scarcity and 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.
Rabiu further explained, ‘’Week demand for cement particularly in the second half of the year, mainly contributed to the turnover and lower profits compared to that of 2014’’.
He assured shareholders that the Sokoto Cement is the dominant brand in its home market because of its quality with consistent customer loyalty, which together with the use of biomass as complimentary kiln fuel and strict cost control, ensured that the company survived in the market despite the numerous challenges.
On the issue of e-dividend and unclaimed dividend, Rabiu noted: ‘’The company is making efforts to ensure that shareholders derived maximum value for their investment by taking advantage of the electronic services rendered by its Registrars. Also, the regulatory authorities encouraged the phasing out of paper based dividend, hence, shareholders are once again encouraged to embrace the e-dividend mandate and ensure that they filled the relevant form and submit to the Registrars, as stated in previous years report. The benefits of e.dividend are prompt crediting of shareholders’ bank accounts with their dividend and their CSCS accounts with bonus shares.’’