By Staff Reporter-Tanzania Information Services- MAELEZO
African’s wealthiest person, Alhaj Aliko Dangote said, on Sunday, that he was content with the leadership style of President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli and vowed to continue working with him and his government.
Welcoming the president and his delegation at Dangote cement factory in Mtwara, Alhaj Dangote said he was satisfied with every effort taken by the President and his government to strengthen investment climate in the country.
“It is a great honor and privileged to our company to have been given such an opportunity to make such a big investment in Tanzania which is worth US $650m” Alhaj Dangote told the President.
He added that his company was ready to continue supporting government measures in addressing socio economic challenges as part of the implementation of the company’s program of corporate social responsibility.
Alhaj Dangote told President Magufuli that currently the factory was producing 750,000 to 770,000 tons per year but this year production would be raised to one million tons and in 2018 the factory would reach its production capacity of three million tons per year.
On new trucks, he said that the launching of the 580 trucks has given new hope to many low income earners in the country because the trucks would distribute cement all over the country and would allow to be sold at fordable price of not more than ten thousand shillings.
Alhaj Dangote further explained that since production started, cement prices had dropped from shillings 15,000/= per 50kg bag to shillings 10,000/= and expected to drop further following new planned distribution network by the factory following the launching of the new trucks.
Meanwhile, President John Pombe Magufuli has instructed Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Tanzania Petroleum Development Cooperation (TPDC) to allocate part of Ngaka coalmine in Mbinga District, Ruvuma region to Dangote Cement Factory so that the later can produce coal to use in cement production.
President Magufuli issued those instructions during his tour at the factory before officially launched 580 company’s trucks to be used to distribute cement to various parts of the country.
He gave the ministry and TPDC seven days to allocate the land and issue mining license to the company and repeated his previous call that Dangote should not buy natural gas through private companies apart from TPDC.
“Dangote must be granted mining license for coal and must have direct access of natural gas from TPDC” He said and added that TPDC has to construct special pipeline to supply natural gas to the factory.
He insisted that direct supply of natural gas to the factory and access to Ngaka coal mine, the company would be at liberty to choose between the two in running the factory.
President Magufuli said that it was high time that the responsible ministry and its institutions take necessary measures to immediately make sure that no other hindrance befall the factory.
He noted that he has been informed of various setbacks facing the company and cited delaying of clearance of company’s trucks for two months and said he was surprised when he made a phone call to enquire about the issue then they were immediately cleared.
He however noted that the company’s management was to blame for some of those problems facing the company and asked Alhaj Dangote to rethink of his management.
“Mr. Dangote, you a very a good person but people who are representing you here are letting you down and it is probably that they are conspiring with your competitors to deceive you” President Magufuli said.
President Magufuli told Alhaj Dangote that it was unusual for a business company to procure a number of trucks like he had done but surprisingly they have been left unused and instead the company continued to outsource to add more expenses to the company.
He repeated his earlier call to Dangote’s management that they must directly contact the government for their service needs instead of using individuals or private companies as go between who he said were enriching themselves and raised company’s production cost.
“Alhaj Dangote kindly look carefully at your management; it uses middlemen who cause you problems. I have already instructed the ministry to not sell gas to middlemen. We want to directly supply gas to your factory that you can produce electricity at the factory” emphasized the President.
In December last year, President Magufuli met with Alhaj Aliko Dangote in Dar es salaam to clear the air when there were various negative stories published in the media about problems facing the company and it was claimed that the company was about to close its business in the country.
During that meeting the President assured Alhaj Dangote of his commitment and that of his government to continue to create conducive environment to enable the factory to smoothly undertake its activities.
Dangote cement factory situated at Msijute Village, Mtwara region in Southern Tanzania is the biggest cement factory in the Southern African region.
President Magufuli was in fourth day of his four-day tour of Pwani, Lindi and Mtwara regions which started last Thursday.