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Coleman targets supply of cables to 50% of African countries

Coleman Wires and Cables Limited, the largest manufacturer of wires and cables in West Africa, has said that its target is to make Nigeria the…

Coleman Wires and Cables Limited, the largest manufacturer of wires and cables in West Africa, has said that its target is to make Nigeria the biggest supplier of wires and cables to 50 per cent of countries in Africa.

The Managing Director of the company, George Onafowokan, who disclosed this, said that with the right support and incentives from the government, the Coleman business could generate a lot of non-oil revenue for the federal government.

He spoke with newsmen at the corporate head office of the company along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on the sidelines of the facility’s tour of the company by the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu.

The visit took the minister to the company’s Fibre Optics Cable plant, as well as the West Africa Pioneer High Voltage Factory in Sagamu, Ogun State.

The minister pledged the commitment of the federal government to improve local content in power projects across the country.

Onofowokan further said that with more opportunities and support for the local manufacturers, Coleman could ramp up its production as it was presently working on one shift and utilising just 10 per cent of its installed capacity.

He said, “Our plan is to see us being able to supply 50 per cent of the countries in Africa from Nigeria over the next couple of years.”

With its planned expansion, the MD stated that over 6,000 direct employees would be working with the company in addition to over 80,000 indirect employees.

He noted that to solve the power problem in Nigeria, the federal government must look inward into local solutions, saying, “We must build capacity for local content. 10 to 15 per cent of any infrastructural project is cable, why should we import it? We are not saying you shouldn’t import, but we must have localised solutions.”

Onofowokan called for the right fiscal policy to support the growth of indigenous manufacturers to create more jobs and contribute to the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said, “50 per cent of what we are making is pioneering for Nigeria and West Africa. We have outgrown foreign competitors in 10 folds. If we are talking about Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), what about Domestic Direct Investments (DDIs)? How many DDIs can the government incentivise?

“We are the only industry where people are saying Made-in-Nigeria products are better. We made Nigeria the first in West Africa, making cable for the marine and oil and gas; we are the second largest producer of fibre optic cables in Africa.”

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