By Ebele Orakpo
There is no doubt that Nigeria has all it takes to become one of the greatest given her array of natural and human resources. If she must be counted among the world’s 20 richest economies come 2020, then she needs to engage every available resource and the leaders must have the political will to make the necessary infrastructure available to the people to enable them give their best to the nation.
Alhaji Musa Mohammed Danfulani, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Danfulani Motor Construction Company Limited based in Kaduna, Kaduna State has been quietly contributing his quota to the Nigeria oil and gas industry through the production of mobile tanks. In a recent chat with Vanguard in Kaduna, Alhaji Danfulani spoke on how he started the mobile tank manufacturing business and the challenges. Excerpts:
Alhaji Mohammed Danfulani, after his 13 years apprenticeship under his master, Alhaji Sani. in Kaduna, he worked for about six and-a-half years before he decided to start his own company, Danfulani Motor Construction Company Limited and has not looked back since then, 25 years on.
“ I have been in the business of producing mobile tanks for 25 years now. At the initial stage, we were producing one or two mobile tanks in a month but today, we produce between 30 and 40 in a month.,” he said.
Speaking on the cost of the mobile tanks, Alhaji Danfulani said the price depends on the size of the tank. “The prices of tanks depend on their sizes. For instance, the 40,000_litre tank used by major marketers goes for N4.2 million, the standard tanks for the independent marketers goes for N2.8 million,” he said, adding that people are patronising them because they know the tanks are of high quality and can conveniently serve the buyer for 10 _ 15 years.
The company which has 85 workers in its employ, and has workshops housing the machines like the cutting machine, rolling machine etc., spends about two million naira on staff salaries.
Alhaji Danfulani also trains workers. “People come from different parts of the country, students, graduates and other individuals. I have students from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Kaduna Polytechnic who come here for their industrial attachment and we give them certificates at the end of their stay. I also have youth corp members. We have about 15 youth corps members serving here now,” he stated.
On the challenges facing the company, Danfulani said: “We have the challenge of power although power supply has improved a little. In the past, in a whole month, we would be lucky to have electricity supply for between three to seven days so most of the time, we depend on generator, using about 11,000 litres of fuel per month. But today, we have electricity supply for more than 25 days in a month which is a great improvement.
Again, since I started my business, I have not received any single help from the government. I even applied for loan for small scale industry but I couldn’t get. All government does is to collect from us, especially the local government. We pay the local government over N100,000 per annum. Yet, ordinary culvert, they have not been able to construct for us. All they did was to dig the road leading to the company without putting up a culvert to enable our vehicles come into the compound to park properly. You know trailers cannot jump so they have done us more harm than good by not completing that job.
They managed to put 10 slabs there which is too narrow for trailers. Before this time, a trailer would just drive straight into the compound, do its job and move away, but now, our trailers would have to reverse more than five times before they can pass.
So most people don’t like to enter the premises as a result. As a result, trailers are sometimes parked outside because there is no way for them to get into the compound and before you know it, Road Safety people come to harass us.
If I want to do that culvert by myself, I will spend nothing less than N500,000, and yet, we are paying one fee or the other to government,” he lamented.