Dangote Sinotruk West Africa Limited has said that it is increasing its local input into the assembling plant to up to 60 percent within the next one year, even as it plans to roll out commercial vehicles soon.

The expansion drive, which is part of the backward integration plan, is meant to enhance value addition and local content.

The company’s Group General Manager, Hikmat Thapa, disclosed these plans when the Lagos State Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, visited the Ikeja plant.

Thapa said that having done with the phase one of the project, the company had also embarked on the phase two which has to do with adding of the facility for Cab welding, Painting & Trimming.

He pointed that the third phase of the project expansion would be to add the facility that would be used to fabricate, paint and assemble different type of trailer bodies, load bodies with dual & triple axles, Tipper bodies & tankers and so on.

The automobile expert told the commissioner that the company had installed capacity to assemble and produce 15 –16 trucks per shift or 10,000 trucks yearly and to create over 3000 different jobs across the country.

He explained further: The company has the plan to have welding and painting shops to fabricate and paint truck cabin and trailers of different type so as to enhance local content of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) operation of commercial vehicle manufacturing,

“In the next one year, we have on our agenda to assemble and fabricate truck cabins, different type of trailers, tipper bodies and Tankers etc. in our plant to increase value additions up 40 – 60 %”, he added.

Thapa said that the company planned to expand sales to all the neighbouring West African states, saying “we are targeting to sell our products to ECOWAS countries in addition to fulfilling local market requirement.”

The Commissioner expressed surprise at the level of activities going on at the plant and commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Chairman of the company, whose businesses are geared towards touching lives.

She expressed optimism that with the level at which the company was going, it would soon be a matter of time when Nigerians would opportunity for cheap vehicles.

The commissioner urged other businessmen to emulate Alhaji Dangote in the efforts to create jobs through manufacturing rather than importation of finished products.