By Gabriel Ewepu
THE BUA Group has concluded plans to expand its Sokoto Cement plant production capacity from 1.5 million tonnes to 4.5 million tonnes in order to meet demand in West African nations.
The Group Executive Director, BUA, Kabiru Rabiu, who stated this in an interview with Vanguard, said the company has been one of the leading players in the cement subsector, which operates Sokoto and Edo Cement Companies respectively. He said: “BUA Group is doing a lot of exports of cement for example to Niger Republic from our Sokoto cement plant. We have just completed a brand new line of 1.5 million tonnes, the plant was operating 500,000 tonnes. We have just commissioned 1.5 million tonnes.
“We are expanding the capacity by three folds and this will be commissioned in the next few weeks, God willing, by the Vice- President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
“As you know, Sokoto cement is the only plant in the north-western part of Nigeria, and Sokoto is a border town, so Sokoto cement is very close to Niger Republic, and we are doing significant export from that plant, and also we are doing a little bit from Edo cement plant, but I don’t have the number off hand but I know it is significant and we will continue to do more.
“Every business has challenges and if there is no challenge, there is no money to be made to be honest, so challenges actually should be there.
“We have some challenges in terms of operations but we always work to overcome those challenges. For example, energy is always a challenge for us in Nigeria and Sokoto that was operating on a MP4 like you know, which was a problem because you have to get it from a refinery but now we are having support from the Federal Government which we are getting from the refineries most of the times.
“But more importantly now, we have built a new plant that is using coal and natural gas so we now have better flexibilities, and this was a challenge for us before but now, it is no longer a challenge.
“Like I told you, there are challenges in business but what you do as a business owner is to be able to overcome those challenges so that you continue to operate efficiently.”
He also added: ”You also have to make sure that you give the host community opportunities not only for work but also for growth and for development in terms of school, medicals and we will continue to do more of that so that at least, they benefit by our presence.”