• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Tower Aluminium strong despite industry tailbacks

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Even though the Nigerian aluminium industry is plagued with a number of problems, Tower Group is still strong in all ramifications and remains the leader in the sector, industry stakeholders have said.

“Tower is the leader and is the only company in the industry that can wade through challenges in Nigeria and yet make reasonable profits,” said a CEO of an aluminium firm, who preferred anonymity.

Tower Group, now part of the global Comcraft Group, is a pioneering leader in aluminium products in West Africa, having been in the country since 1959.

The Group has the single largest vertically integrated operations, with presence across West African countries. Diversity and consistent quality have been keys to the market leadership of the firm over the years, say analysts.

Tower is well-known for kitchenware products, roofing products, extrusions, coloured coils, rolled products and is also engaged in flexible packaging.

Other players in the industry include First Aluminium and Aluminium Extrusion, among others.

Nigeria’s aluminium sector is beset by problems such as influx of cheap and substandard finished aluminium products, poor raw materials quality, high cost of energy and rising labour costs. Others are lack of government incentives to players in the sector, desire to reduce quality to compete with cheap and sub-standard products from China, and high taxes, according to informed industry sources. Stakeholders say with government assistance, the likes of Tower and First Aluminium can make more impact.

“We had to close down operations in December 2012, because production was and still is uneconomic owing to high energy cost. In 2013, 22.7 percent of our costs went to power. We spend N20 million every month on power,” said Robin Neville, managing director, First Aluminium plc, in an exclusive interview with Real Sector Watch.

ODINAKA ANUDU