Nigeria’s BUA Group led by executive chairman and Forbes listed billionaire, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Tuesday said it was on course to hit a cement production milestone of eight milion metric tonnes by next year, following an expected estimated investment of $2 billion.
The estimated $2 billion represents commitment already made on the company’s two cement production companies located in Edo and Sokoto states, comprising BUA Cement Company, Obu, and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Sokoto respectively. Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday commissioned the three million metric tonnes capacity line one and broke ground for the 75 percent three million tonnes capacity line two of the Obu plant, where he committed to a private sector led economy.
Rabiu said with BUA’s push Nigeria was on course to reach 45 million metric tonnes cement production capacity next year, noting that this was a remarkable leap for a country which once had just three million metric tonnes in total capacity.
“As we witness the official commissioning of the three million metric tonnes Obu cement plant as well as the groundbreaking of the second line of our 3mt plant., the journey of Nigeria’s integrated cement manufacturing has seen Nigeria move from a nation of three million metric tonnes of production capacity to a country that will have 45 million tonnes of cement manufacturing capacity by next year. We are planning about a 24 percent increase in capacity,” he said.
He noted that the achievement has not only made Nigeria self sufficient but an exporter of cement, adding that the cement sub sector represents over 90 percent of the Nigeria mining sector and employs some 40,000 people directly and over two million people indirectly and also saves the Nigeria economy over $2 billion foreign exchange annually.
The line commissioned by the vice president was particularly talked up by Rabiu who said “the success and impressive efficiency of the first line which in its first year of operation posted over 90 percent returns of capacity utilisation made BUA to commence the construction of the second line of three million tonnes.”
BUA’s cement business includes its operations in Sokoto, in northern Nigeria and Rabiu said it was at the stage of “completing another Greenfield project in Sokoto which is 1.5mtpa which cost over $300 million. By the time we are done the combined capacity of our cement plant both in Sokoto and in Edo will be about 8million tonnes.”
According to him, this investment together with the Sokoto, floating line, Edo Cement, will bring the company’s total investment to $2billion by 2018.
“The Sokoto cement project which will be completed by early next year will have a combine capacity of 2mmt at both the old and new plants.
“If you look at it, the Sokoto cement is the largest employer of labour if you take out the state government. And with that investment Sokoto cement is the largest single investor in the north Western part of Nigeria,” he said.
With the two lines in Obu, Edo state, Rabiu said the company’s investment in tge South South region of the country will be over $1.2 billion.
Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki commended BUA Group for the investment and also lauded the federal government for creating an enabling and economic driven environment for investors to thrive.
He charged the group to work hard to satisfy the yearnings of the people as demands for BUA Cement is high.
Obaseki said his government will continue to encourage investors like BuA Group for more mind blowing investments.
He said: “I wish to salute and congratulate the entrepreneurial spirit of BUA Group who are the core investors in this plant.
“BUA Cement will have to work very hard to satisfy the local demand of cement”.
“It is my sincere hope that the Okpella community will see a lot of development with the presence of this factory here.
“As a government we want to assure you, that we will continue to work hard and create a business friendly enviroment to businesses like BUA Group so that they will continue to thrive,” he pledged.
Osibanjo said the plant will further boost the economy of the country, adding that the level of production in the plant needed to be consolidated and lauded BUA Group for the use of modern technology in the factory.
“For us as a government, doing all we can to encourage investors at this time is not just a good idea but the corner stone of our government,” he said.
He said issues like Fuel shortages, inadequacies of power, shortage of skill manpowers and others will be taking care of by the government.