Fidelity Bank Plc has said that it is financing the multi-million naira aluminum can project in Aba, South East Nigeria. The factory which will be ready in a few months will take off with an initial production capacity of 1.2 billion cans per annum.
This clearly surpasses the Agbara Can Manufacturing Factory that took off with an initial production capacity of 600 million cans per year, thus making the new plant the largest aluminum can factory in Africa.
Managing Director and Chief Executive, Fidelity Bank Plc, Reginald Ihejiahi, who made the disclosure at the weekend, explained that the financing options adopted by the bank were largely driven by its commitment and faith in the development of the Nigerian economy.
“We are a bank operating in an emerging market and we believe that the industrial sector remains the heart of banking in such markets.”
Ihejiahi, whose bank also financed the Agbara Can Manufacturing factory that was constructed by GZ Industries, further explained that as an institution in business purely for commercial reasons, the bank is mandated to report to its shareholders.
This implies that the bank should have steady streams of income at the end of the year, and therefore, would carefully select the projects it sponsors at any given time, as part of its commitment to the development of the economy.
He added that Fidelity Bank was achieving this by putting together capital, business advisory and personnel to drive the process.
“When we opened Agbara Can Manufacturing Factory constructed by GZ Industries and which was commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010, it started with 600million cans per annum, but the second phase of its development took its production to 900 million cans and later to 1.2billion. However, the Aba Can manufacturing company which is nearing completion will take off from the first day with 1.2billion production capacity and we believe that with this pace Nigeria will soon be self-sufficient in aluminum can production.”
Ihejiahi said that the facility offers enormous opportunity for job creation and other economic benefits to the citizens of the country.
The Aba Can factory is expected to service the breweries and beverage companies in the South East and South South parts of the country, and by extension other parts of Nigeria. “We are also not ruling out export opportunities to West African and other African countries because of the size of the factory.
Meanwhile South African Breweries has just opened a brewery in Onitsha and the market is quite large. They are expected to be a major beneficiary of the aluminum can project,” Ihejiahi said.