Business

June 25, 2024

AIG: Driving Nigeria’s economy with targeted investments  

AIG: Driving Nigeria’s economy with targeted investments  

By Emeka Anaeto, Business Editor

The African Industries Group (AIG) is silently driving a new economic revolution that could put Nigeria at the global stage of top performers across key sectors and a major economic stronghold. 

Within the last five decades of engaging in responsible business practices, the Group has evolved into a driving force in various sectors in Nigeria, with interests in Mining, Metals, Power, Decoratives, Logistics, Farming, Chemicals, Consumer Durables, Engineering Products, Research and Development, and Packaging.

Within the period, AIG, a diversified global conglomerate has been at the frontline, promoting Nigeria’s quest for excellence and sustainable growth, contributing to the country’s socio-economic and industrial growth along the line. 

With footprints across all sections of the country, evident by traces of viable investments in Maiduguri, Kano, Kaduna and Abuja in the North, to Owerri, Asaba and the country’s economic hubs of Lagos, Ogun and Rivers states in the South.

In their 52 Years of operations in Nigeria, AIG has established 35 Manufacturing Plants, built 11 Business Verticals that have employed more than 10,000 Nigerians. 

Within the last 20 years, AIG has been able to build an investment portfolio in Nigeria that is worth over $2 billion. 

Although, time could be a key factor for the success of AIG in Nigeria, the Chairman, Mr. Raj Gupta says, the group’s success is attributable to deliberate steps that they have taken. 

Speaking in an interview, Gupta stated” “From the onset, we decided to run an inclusive and sustainable business model that not only benefit stakeholders but also positively impact the environment and society.

 “We currently have the largest non-oil FDI investment in Mining and Steel Processing, and are the largest Iron and Steel Manufacturer, as well as the largest manufacturer of high purity refined lead in Nigeria. 

“We are also the market leader and most trusted brand for Aluminium products, exclusive distributor of world-renowned brands of engineering tools and pioneer in flat sheet glass manufacturing in the country as well,” Gupta disclosed. 

Power

Since over two decades now, AIG has been at the forefront of Nigeria’s energy evolution, focusing in recent times on renewable energy. 

From generation, transmission to distribution, AIG has been providing total energy solutions to numerous customers. So far, they have 145 Mega Watts of installed thermal power plant capacity, and have completed 11Mega Watts of Solar power projects across the country. 

Gupta said, “We are at the forefront of supporting the energy needs of Nigeria and at the same time supporting its sustainability future. We are leading Nigeria’s sustainability future and have reduced 9,655MT CO2 equivalent emission/ annum which is also equivalent to planting 44,000 trees.”

 Mining 

AIG has been identified as a key contributor to current efforts being put into the development of Nigeria’s mining sector. 

From Exploration, Mining, Beneficiation to Trade, Gupta said AIG has made a commitment to continue to offer social and economic benefits to all stakeholders in the Mining Value Chain (MVC).

The group has set up a fully integrated iron ore mining and processing plant in Kaduna state, the first of its kind in Nigeria.

The group has invested over US$600 Million in iron ore mining and steel processing, making it one of Nigeria’s largest non-oil foreign direct investment (FDI) investment. 

The firm currently has over 5 million tonnes per annum iron ore mining capacity, with over 60,000 Meters drilled across multiple states in Nigeria. 

This alone, according to Gupta, the group, through its iron ore mining business line, has created over 4,000 Direct and In-direct job opportunities for Nigerians across various lines of professionalism. 

“We are committed to driving Nigeria’s socio-economic development, leading employment generation in rural areas.”

AIG’s efforts in the development of the mining sector have been hailed by the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Alake. 

Mr. Alake who gave the commendation during a visit to African Natural Resources and Mines Ltd (ANRML), an iron ore mining and processing company in the African Industries Group located at Gujeni, Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State, along with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ms. Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, expressed happiness over the company’s compliance to the call for those seeking to mine in Nigeria to acquire proper licensing. 

“This is a company that is worthy of emulation, and I commend the firm for this remarkable achievement,” Alake said. 

The firm also got similar rating from the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ms. Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, who commended the group and the company for making effort to galvanize the nation’s steel sector. 

Earlier, the Group Managing Director (GMD), African Industries Group, Alok Gupta had assured that the company would use its operations to position Nigeria as a global steel producing giant based on the country’s rich natural resource wealth.

Gupta described Nigeria as a nation of limitless potential, disclosing that AIG’s ANRML alone has a mining capacity of over 5 million tonnes per annum. 

Metals 

AIG has one of the largest production capacities for steel, aluminum, and lead products in Nigeria. The group has the capacity to produce over 26,000 Metric tonnes of refined lead every year. 

“We are not only one of the largest manufacturers of various metal products but also the most quality conscious and sustainable in its processes,” Mr. Gupta said. 

He also pointed out that, AIG runs the most environmentally friendly operations, saying, “We are continuously working on waste reduction and emission controls as per Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines of International Finance Corporation and World Bank.

“We also undertake scrap recycling as per European standards, supporting the environment. Our Aluminum roofing sheets are environmentally friendly containing a large percentage of recycled matter. They are also recyclable, making them a rare waste in landfills,” he said. 

Speaking on the core values that drive AIG’s innovations and quality pursuit, AIG’s Director, Legal Services, Ms. Chiamaka Okeke said, said, “The POWER of AIG are the principles and priorities that guide our actions.”

Using the POWER acronym, Okeke said, the group is driven by being Passionate for Quality, Operational Excellence, undiluted Work ethics and integrity, Enhanced customer value and Respect for the individual. 

Social investment: Touching Lives, Boosting Local Economies

AIG has instituted a number of Social Impact projects, as a way of giving back to the society, which according to Okeke are centered on Community Development, Health and Hygiene as well as Women Empowerment.

In Gujeni for instance, AIG, through its mining and processing plant, African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML), has constructed and repaired the road connecting Gujeni A, Gujeni B and other small hamlets directly to Abuja-Kaduna Expressway using equipment and laterite from its mines. 

AIG’s $600m Iron Ore mining and processing project developed in collaboration with Kaduna State Government has been at the back end of the delivery of improved healthcare to the people. 

Within the last one year, the group has donated varied quantities of medical aids including medicines and other commodities, food items, and other life-enhancing commodities to various categories of people in the community. 

The, hitherto, rustic Odagbo-Okaba village in Ankpa, Kogi State have also received similar touches by AIG, whose another affiliate company, has constructed and repaired the road passing through the village using in-house equipment and laterite. So far, a total of 7km roads have been repaired in the Odagbo, Okaba, Ofano and Ofano Ogane communities. 

This is, as the Group has also drilled Industrial borewell with overhead tanks and tap facilities for household usage in Ofanoand Odagbo-Ojuwo communities. 

The group renovated the Local Government Primary School building for Ihunsa Community in Igere, Ogun State and alsothe Odagbo Community School in Ankpa LGA, Kogi state.

AIG’s Chairman, Mr. Raj Gupta, who spoke on the reasons behind the Group’s huge investments in social interventions in their host communities, said, “We realized since we started doing business in Nigeria over five decades ago that investing in our host communities through basic infrastructure and helping to make the population healthier is a win-win for the community, the country and us.”

He said, annually AIG spends over N2billion on Social Impact projects and interventions. He said the Group has so far supported over 20 Charity organizations and undertaken more than 100 health initiatives, including the donation of 2,000 Oxygen cylinders to various government agencies across various states during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our organisations have touched not less than 50,000 families in various communities, empowering over 25,000 women along the line,” he said.

 “AIG runs a business strategy that is inclusive and sustainable, for which the people and communities that we operate within are key,” Gupta said in an interview, adding also that this does not only benefit stakeholders but also positively impact the environment and society. 

“We are ardently committed to nurturing and development of the local environment, beginning from our contiguous communities. This, we strive to do by conducting various social impact activities, which we have been involved in for years under three main areas, namely, Community Development, Health and Hygiene and Women Empowerment,” Mr. Gupta said.

In this regard, he said “AIG has established a multipurpose Training and Development Center for carrying out various trainings related to safety, environment, job skills and administrative skills to be transferred to the National workforce as part of Local Talent Development Initiative.”

The group has also installed a fully automatic Organic Compost Machine to convert food and organic waste into organic manure.

AIG’s strides have surely not gone unnoticed, as the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Dele Alake, has hailed the group’s affiliate, ANRML, for observing absolute regulatory compliance that has added value to its steel production operations.

Alake who gave the commendation during a visit to ANRML at Gujeni, Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State, along with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, expressed happiness over the development, saying, “the company has obeyed our admonition and in concrete terms.” 

Alake, had, in the previous week given some prerequisite conditions for the issuance and re-issuance of mining license to any firm willing to operate in the nation’s solid minerals sector.

The Minister said the ANRML is now a living testimony and example of compliance with the directive, urging other operators in the sector and other prospective investors to emulate them.

“I made the point that we will no longer license any company that want to engage in our mining sector without any concrete plan for local value addition. Today, here is a company that has obeyed our admonition and in concrete terms, shown the whole world what local value addition means,” Alake said. 

Continuing, he said, “It is not just to mine our iron ore and export, but they are going to process and refine it here. So, I am happy that we have an example to show to the rest of the companies that are in Nigeria’s minerals sector.

 “This is a company that is worthy of emulation and I commend the firm for this remarkable achievement.”

The firm also got similar rating from the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, who commended the group and the company for making efforts to galvanize the nation’s steel sector. 

She said her Ministry’s industrial revitalization plan has positioned the steel sector as a paramount sector that would receive attention being the catalyst of industrialization and national development.

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