By Peter Egwuatu
AS part of effort towards enhancing the Nigerian economy, Standard Chartered Bank has announced plans to provide corporate loan to Obajana Cement Plc.
Obajana Cement, a quoted company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is part of the Dangote Group, which is one of the largest manufacturing conglomerates in sub-Saharan Africa. Obajana Cement is currently the largest cement manufacturer cement in Nigeria.
The company continues to expand its capacity and is engaged in several projects which will strengthen its existing dominant position in the cement business in Nigeria. Part of the $350 million loan facility will be applied towards the expansion and the construction of a power plant for the Ibese Power Plant project which is part of a new 5 million metric tonnes cement plant being built by the company.
Vis. Shankar, Group Head, Origination & Client Coverage, Standard Chartered Bank while speaking on the occasion saidâ€We are very pleased to be able to provide this corporate facility to Obajana Cement as it is one of the largest manufacturing conglomerates in sub-Saharan Africa. Our established footprint in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, along with our long history of supporting trade flows to and from these regions are factors that have placed us in a unique position to provide critical funding to our core clients.
After a year of turmoil in the international debt markets, we see a clear need for transactions of this nature to support growth of the financial and economic markets. Standard Chartered Bank is delighted to be part of this transaction and clearly demonstrates our long term commitment to our business in Nigeria.â€
Commenting on the transaction, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/CEO of the Dangote Group said:â€We are delighted to have obtained this corporate facility from Standard Chartered Bank. The terms of this facility will provide us with additional capacity to optimise our productivity, enhance our operations and increase our cash flows.
The loan will fund our capital expenditure requirements and will further facilitate the achievement of our growth strategy. We are encouraged by Standard Chartered Bankâ€™s support and commitment to our business in the current global financial market conditions. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Standard Chartered Bank in the futureâ€.
Saif Malik, Head of Origination and Client Coverage, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria said, â€œWe have started the year with good momentum and with a clear message that we are committed to the continuous development of customer-focused products and services. Our ultimate aim is to open up new possibilities for the Nigerian financial market and customers.
We are proud to be associated with this transaction which will boost the business of one of Nigeriaâ€™s most respected companies and reinforce our commitment to consistently be at the Vanguard of ground breaking transactions in the countryâ€™s business environment.â€
achievements in Nigeria over the past few years and we are particularly impressed with the huge potential of the banking market in the country.â€