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How AIG’s $2bn investment is driving economic growth in Nigeria

July 2, 2024

For over five decades, the African Industries Group (AIG) has been driving the economic revolution that could put Nigeria at the global stage with top performing indices across key sectors of the economy. 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. The Chairman of AIG, Mr. Raj Gupta told the media recently that although, time could be a key factor for the success of AIG in Nigeria, the group’s success is attributable to deliberate steps that they have taken. According to him, “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.” He explained that the strategy of continual investment in Nigeria which they employed over the last few decades have integrated the group deeply into the domestic economy, and have positioned them to contribute to the overall industrial development of Nigeria. “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. 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. Power In the last two decades, 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, the company have 145 Mega Watts of installed thermal power plant capacity, and have completed 11Mega Watts of Solar power projects across the country. According to the Chairman of AIG, the Group has been supplying power to Nigeria’s National Grid since 2016. It is also on record that it was AIG that commissioned the first solar power project supplying power to industry in Nigeria. “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,” he said Mining Also in the mining sector, 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 for continues offer of social and economic benefits to all stakeholders in the Mining Value Chain (MVC). The company 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). Currently, AIG has over 5 million tonnes per annum iron ore mining capacity, with over 60,000 Meters drilled across multiple states in Nigeria. Gupta said 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.” “In specific terms, our Iron ore mining and processing plant will reduce steel scrap usage and reduce the import of steel thus helping to reduce pressure on the country’s foreign exchange needs” Gupta said. According to him, the usage of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) produced by the firm will improve productivity and efficiency of steel plants in Nigeria, adding also that it will position Nigeria as one of the prominent Crude Steel producers in the world. 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, noting that “we are continuously working on waste reduction and emission control. “We also undertake scrap recycling with European standards, 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. In Chemicals, AIG has earned the reputation of being a leading supplier and manufacturer of quality chemical products and Industrial gas in the West African region. The group has one of the largest combined production capacities in Nigeria for various types of Chemicals. It has state-of-the-art production facilities and a varied product portfolio catering to diverse industries. Giving details on this, the Group’s Chairman said, “Our state-of-the-art Double Conversion and Double Absorption (DCDA) process is used to produce Sulphuric Acid. Our Sulphuric acid is used mainly by battery companies, fertilizers, steel industry, refineries, power plants, oil & gas sectors as industrial catalyst to facilitate chemical reactions. “Liquid and solid sodium silicate produced at AIG is used by soaps and detergents manufacturers, Tiles, Mining, and steel industries. We have a premium quality caustic soda that is used across industries like glass, paints, cosmetics, ceramics, Paper, pulp, and cellulose production. “Just to also mention that ALUM manufactured by AIG is the most efficient and effective purification agent for treatment of wastewater. It is used in various waterworks across Nigeria. It is also used in the Paper Industry for purification and paper sizing,” he added. 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.” 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. Since 1972, 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. 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 Southern part of Nigeria.

AIG: Driving Nigeria’s economy with targeted investments

June 25, 2024

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.

Mining company, ANRML partners NBTS to boost National Blood Bank on World Blood Donor Day

June 23, 2024

The African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML) has convened a Blood Donation Camp to commemorate Year 2024 World Blood Donor Day. The aim of the Blood Donation Camp, which was conducted in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) recently, is to significantly contribute to the provision of blood for the sick in order to save their lives, the company said in a statement. The statement, which was signed by the Public Relations Officer, ANRML, Mr. Olanrewaju Babatunde AbdulHakeem, discussed the crucial importance of blood to the survival of the sick, stating that blood is essential because it helps patients survive surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. According to the company, “The Blood Donation Camp which was carried out at the ANRML’s factory site, Gujeni Community, Kaduna State, was conceived as a lifesaving care that starts with one person making a generous donation in order to inspire others to do same and save lives.” The company expressed concern that statistics shows that only about 3% of age-eligible people donate blood yearly. Each unit of blood donated is further broken down into components, such as red blood cells, plasma, platelets and may be transfused to several patients, each with different needs. The organization therefore encouraged the public to support the sick by donating blood to the country’s National Blood Bank. Further discussing the importance of commemorating the World Blood Donor Day, the company pointed out that importance of donating blood and its multiple uses. For example cancer patients are particularly in need of blood transfusions as it can act as a resource to implement platelets back into the body after heavy treatments such as chemo or radiation therapy. The statement quoted Mr. Babatunde as saying: “As a company, ANRML understands the importance of public health and we will continue to execute Social Impact Policies and Projects to entrench our commitment to public health.” Mr. Babatunde explained that African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML) is a member-company of the African Industries Group (AIG), adding that the Group shares the ideology and commitment to community development through the execution of Social Impact Projects across communities that host its operations. This, he said, is why the Company organized a blood donation camp at its factory premises in Gujeni Village. According to the company, the Blood Donation Camp is part of the larger campaign across the group companies to encourage employees to donate blood to the needy, adding that the Group and its employees strongly believe that it is a life saving act and every drop of blood counts in saving a life. The ANRML blood donation drive, which theme is, “It is in your blood to save a life,” brought together various volunteers who were inspired to care for the sick by donating blood. “True to the theme, ANRML Blood Donation Camp experienced very good participation and a rush of volunteers to donate blood,” the statement said, adding that donors from Abuja Steel Mills joined volunteers in Gujeni to donate blood. The event, which was popularly adjudged as successful, had more than 100 ANRML employees donating blood, including females. The company thanked the National Blood Transfusion Services for partnering with ANRML and collecting the blood. A big round of applause to the management and employees of ANRML for once again conducting such an impactful and socially conscious activity and make it a success.

Ogun Pledges Support for Industries Growth

June 21, 2024

In a bid to strengthen the existence of industries in the face of the economic realities in the country, the Ogun State Government has vowed to do all within its means to support the growth of companies across its 20 local government areas. This was revealed by the Commissioner for Industries, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adebola Sofela, during his strategic visit to African Industries Group ( AIG),Agbara in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government area of the State. Sofela in company of the Permanent Secretary and other top Management staff of the Ministry were received by the Managing Director of the company, Chief Sohan Bagla into the expansive facility. Assuring investors of government support, the Commissioner said that the Prince Dapo Abiodun led government was intentional about creating an enabling environment not only for the existing business to thrive but also to attract new investors into the Gateway State. He described the visit as a strategic move to further consolidate on the existing relationship between the State government and industries for a better result. The Commissioner who appreciated various companies operating in Ogun for their resilience and belief in not just Nigeria but the State despite the present economic situation in the country, pointed out that there would be light at the end of the tunnel. According to him, the present administration has put various reforms in place to strengthen the existence of industries. “A lot has gone into our land administration system to fast-track the process of getting title documents without delay. We have a Business Enabling Council which consists of strategic stakeholders where we meet regularly to discuss how businesses operating in the State can do well on an incremental basis. The on-going infrastructural upgrade across the State is a demonstration of government willingness to redefine the landscape of Ogun State. “The Prince Dapo Abiodun led government is focused on creating a conducive environment that will improve business growth and attract new ones. That is the reason we will do all within our means for industries growth so that you can continue to contribute your quota to the development of our dear State and Nigeria at large,” Sofela said. In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Olu. Ola. Aikulola, said the commitment of the State government to addressing sundry issues bordering on Industry, Trade and Investment was second to none, just as he pointed out that the position of Ogun as the industrial capital of Nigeria was not by sheer luck but hard work. In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AIG, Chief Sohan Bagla, disclosed that the company had been existing in Ogun for 52 years given the strategic location of the State and her laudable policy initiatives . He assured that his organisation will continue to positively impact its various host communities in its Corporate Social Responsibility engagements without leaving any stone unturned. On his part, the Group Executive Director of the company Barrister Uche Iwuamadi, described the Gateway State as one of the most peaceful in the country, which he said informed the decision of the organisation to concentrate 60 per cent of its national investment in the State. While revealing the readiness of the company to increase its investment in Ogun by additional 20 per cent, Iwuamadi lauded the appointment of Mr. Sofela as the Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, saying it was a round peg in a round hole considering his knowledge in the all-important sector.

Ogun Pledges Support for Industries Growth

June 21, 2024

In a bid to strengthen the existence of industries in the face of the economic realities in the country, the Ogun State Government has vowed to do all within its means to support the growth of companies across its 20 local government areas. This was revealed by the Commissioner for Industries, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adebola Sofela, during his strategic visit to African Industries Group ( AIG),Agbara in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government area of the State. Sofela in company of the Permanent Secretary and other top Management staff of the Ministry were received by the Managing Director of the company, Chief Sohan Bagla into the expansive facility. Assuring investors of government support, the Commissioner said that the Prince Dapo Abiodun led government was intentional about creating an enabling environment not only for the existing business to thrive but also to attract new investors into the Gateway State. He described the visit as a strategic move to further consolidate on the existing relationship between the State government and industries for a better result. The Commissioner who appreciated various companies operating in Ogun for their resilience and belief in not just Nigeria but the State despite the present economic situation in the country, pointed out that there would be light at the end of the tunnel. According to him, the present administration has put various reforms in place to strengthen the existence of industries. “A lot has gone into our land administration system to fast-track the process of getting title documents without delay. We have a Business Enabling Council which consists of strategic stakeholders where we meet regularly to discuss how businesses operating in the State can do well on an incremental basis. The on-going infrastructural upgrade across the State is a demonstration of government willingness to redefine the landscape of Ogun State. “The Prince Dapo Abiodun led government is focused on creating a conducive environment that will improve business growth and attract new ones. That is the reason we will do all within our means for industries growth so that you can continue to contribute your quota to the development of our dear State and Nigeria at large,” Sofela said. In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Olu. Ola. Aikulola, said the commitment of the State government to addressing sundry issues bordering on Industry, Trade and Investment was second to none, just as he pointed out that the position of Ogun as the industrial capital of Nigeria was not by sheer luck but hard work. In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AIG, Chief Sohan Bagla, disclosed that the company had been existing in Ogun for 52 years given the strategic location of the State and her laudable policy initiatives. He assured that his organisation will continue to positively impact its various host communities in its Corporate Social Responsibility engagements without leaving any stone unturned. On his part, the Group Executive Director of the company Barrister Uche Iwuamadi, described the Gateway State as one of the most peaceful in the country, which he said informed the decision of the organisation to concentrate 60 per cent of its national investment in the State. While revealing the readiness of the company to increase its investment in Ogun by additional 20 per cent, Iwuamadi lauded the appointment of Mr. Sofela as the Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, saying it was a round peg in a round hole considering his knowledge in the all-important sector.

Ogun pledges support for industries growth

June 21, 2024

In a bid to strengthen the existence of industries in the face of the economic realities in the country, the Ogun State Government has vowed to do all within its means to support the growth of companies across its 20 local government areas. This was revealed by the Commissioner for Industries, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adebola Sofela, during his strategic visit to African Industries Group ( AIG),Agbara in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government area of the State. Sofela in company of the Permanent Secretary and other top Management staff of the Ministry were received by the Managing Director of the company, Chief Sohan Bagla into the expansive  facility. Assuring investors of government support, the Commissioner said that the Prince Dapo Abiodun led government was intentional about creating an enabling environment not only for the existing business to thrive but also to attract new investors into the Gateway State.  He described the visit as a strategic move to further consolidate on the existing relationship between the State government and industries for a better result.  The Commissioner who appreciated various companies operating in Ogun for their resilience and belief in not just Nigeria but the State despite the present economic situation in the country, pointed out that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.  According to him, the present administration has put various reforms in place to strengthen the existence of industries. “A lot has gone into our land administration system to fast-track the process of getting title documents without delay.  We have a Business Enabling Council which consists of strategic stakeholders where we meet regularly to discuss how businesses operating in the State can do well on an incremental basis. The on-going infrastructural upgrade across the State is a demonstration of government willingness to redefine the landscape of Ogun State.  “The Prince Dapo Abiodun led government is focused on creating a conducive environment that will improve business growth and attract new ones. That is the reason we will do all within our means for industries growth so that you can continue to contribute your quota to the development of our dear State and Nigeria at large,” Sofela said.  In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Olu. Ola. Aikulola, said the commitment of the State government to addressing sundry issues bordering on Industry, Trade and Investment was second to none, just as he pointed out that the position of Ogun as the industrial capital of Nigeria was not by sheer luck but hard work. In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AIG, Chief  Sohan Bagla, disclosed that the company had been existing in Ogun for 52 years given the strategic location of the State and her laudable policy initiatives . He assured that his organisation will continue to positively impact its various host communities in its Corporate Social Responsibility engagements  without leaving any stone unturned. On his part, the Group Executive Director of the company Barrister Uche Iwuamadi, described the Gateway State as one of the most peaceful in the country, which he said informed the decision of the organisation to concentrate 60 per cent of its national investment in the State. While revealing the readiness of the company to increase its investment in Ogun by additional 20 per cent,  Iwuamadi lauded the appointment of Mr. Sofela as the Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, saying it was a round peg in a round hole considering his knowledge in the all-important sector.

AIG: Touching Lives, Boosting Local Economies With Critical Investments

June 15, 2024

AIG: Touching Lives, Boosting Local Economies with Critical Investments Gujeni, a rural community in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State is one of many communities across Nigeria that could only be seen from the prism of dereliction characterised by poor road networks, run-down social infrastructure, dearth of health facilities, among many other unsavoury narratives. This was also the narrative about Odagbo and adjoining communities in Ankpa Local Government of Kogi State, and many others across the country until African Industries Group (AIG) birthed their operations in their domain. Within a few years, these communities have become a model for sustainable development, attracting visitors and investors from across the country, courtesy of the life-touching investments of AIG in their communities. 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. As at the last count, a total 5.5 km roads have been repaired in Gujeni that have improved accessibility. AIG’s $600m Iron Ore mining and processing project 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 Ofano and Odagbo-Ojuwo communities. The group renovated the Local Government Primary School building for Ihunsa Community in Igere, Ogun State and also the 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 realised 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.” In summary, he said, annually AIG spends over N2billion on Social Impact projects and interventions. He said the Group has so far supported over 20 Charity organisations 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. According to Gupta, the decision to host these life-saving interventions across the country by AIG is strategic, as it aligns with the group’s core values. “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. African Industries Group, a diversified global conglomerate with a 52-year business legacy that cuts across Nigeria and other parts of Africa, has more than 10,000 employees offering products and services through 11 business verticals. With headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, the group has been contributing to Nigeria’s socio-economic growth and industrial development in diverse ways that could not be ignored. “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. He said the Group has set up series of sustainability initiatives that are helping to improve the human capacity of the members of their host communities. 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 licence 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 revitalisation plan has positioned the steel sector as a paramount sector that would receive attention being the catalyst of industrialization and national development. 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. “Nigeria, is a nation of strength, resilience and limitless potential. The country is blessed with abundant natural resources. We have a mining capacity of over 5 million tonnes per annum. The Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) produced here will be a direct substitute for ferrous scrap currently used as raw material for producing steel in Nigeria,” Gupta said. He also disclosed that AIG’s Iron ore mining and processing plant is Nigeria’s largest non-oil Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and marks a significant stride in the direction of utilizing it to make real wealth for Nigeria. It will also gradually position Nigeria as a prominent Crude Steel producer globally,” he added. The AIG’s Chairman also disclosed that the group has created direct and indirect employment for thousands of Nigerians since it was established in 1971 in the country. He further stated and affirmed the Federal Government’s efforts and commitment to drastically reduce the huge importation of steel products into the country annually, and bent on promoting and boosting local production of steel in order to conserve foreign exchange and ensure the steel sector contributes significantly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). AIG has about 35 state-of-the-art manufacturing plants and facilities located in various locations across Nigeria, creating employment opportunities for thousands of Nigerians, and ancillary employment for many more. With over five decades of responsible business practices, the Group has evolved into a driving force in various sectors like Iron and steel manufacturing, power generation, agricultural products, steel processing, building materials, plywood and allied products, logistics and shipping, lead products, cans manufacturing, refractories products, industrial glass, other construction materials, and more recently, mining and processing, aluminum products, renewable energy like solar energy and is also now venturing into CNG.