Nigerian manufacturer Mamuda Group, better known for its leather tanneries, manufacturing of polypropylene sacks and agricultural trading businesses, has inaugurated a biscuit and chocolate manufacturing factory on the Challawa Industrial Estate in Kano, in Nigeria’s north.
The factory is being billed as having cost “multi-billion Naira”, i.e. a minimum of $5.3m. It will be sited alongside Mamuda Group’s tannery operations. Tanneries on the estate have long been accused of discharging pollutants into the surrounding waterways (and polluting the water table in Kano). Kano is already home to food manufacturers including Hamdala Foods, Marshall Biscuits and Marshall Foods.
Mamuda Foods Company, the new food manufacturing subsidiary, will reportedly employ 2,000 people. It brings Mamuda Groups’s total employment to 11,000 people. It will produce brands including Milking (a milk toffee), Secret Bites and Pick One biscuits. The output will be aimed at the mass market and designed to meet growing consumption in the north of Nigeria, including informal trade across into Niger and Chad.
Press releases around the launch have made notable mention of the factory’s power supply: Mamuda has recently installed a new gas-fired power plant. It will initially generate 6 megawatts of electricity, enabling the various Mamuda factories to continue to scale. Its generation capacity is planned to be 22.5 megawatts when fully operational.
Power supply is a major issue for Nigerian manufacturers, who have to put up with frequent and lengthy power outages. In some cases, the power may be out for 50% of the time. This translates into higher costs, because factories either run under capacity or they must use diesel generators. Consistent and adequate power supply is especially an issue in the wake of the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) given the Nigerian government’s desire to attract inward investment and position itself as a manufacturing hub for Africa. In February, Nigeria’s government announced that it had signed a 25 megawatt Independent Power Project (IPP) agreement to enhance electricity supply to industries in the Kano Free Trade Zone (KFTZ), Nigeria’s second free trade zone. The announcement was designed to allay fears from investors that power to the free trade zone, which houses several large manufacturers, would be insufficient or inconsistent.