•BUA Cement to achieve 17MMT by 2023
•Emefiele advocates focus on domestic market
By Babajide Komolafe, Economy Editor
Nigeria’s quest for self-sufficiency in cement production yesterday received a major boost yesterday as President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the three million metric tonnes (3MMT) per annum BUA Cement Sokoto Line 4 Factory.
Meanwhile, BUA Cement said it will soon complete the construction of two new plants of 3MMT each in its Sokoto and Edo plants, thus raising its production capacity to17MMT per annum by 2023, from 11 MMT achieved with the commissioning of the new Sokoto Line 4 factory.
The commissioning which took place at the BUA Cement Sokoto Plant was witnessed by the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal; Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje; Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Bagudu; the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, President Buhari commended the BUA Group for its investment in the cement industry, which has made the company the largest employer of labour in the Northwest zone.
“I am also told that the company is set to complete two more plants soon. Through these investments, BUA has shown without a shadow of a doubt that they believe in Nigeria and its potential.
“Today, BUA and other entrepreneurs have made Nigeria self-sufficient in cement and a net exporter of this strategic product.
“Through these investments, BUA Cement has created employment opportunities for our citizens. Today, BUA is the largest employer of labour in the North-West region.”
Speaking at the event, Chairman, BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, said the company had in the past four years invested over $1 billion.
Stressing that BUA’s investment in the cement industry was made possible by the support and commitment of the President to the development of the Nigerian economy, Rabiu said, “We had a vision to support your government’s infrastructure agenda by ensuring we use locally available raw materials to produce cement here in Nigeria.”
Rabiu also appreciated the support of the CBN in making the new plant a reality, adding that the apex bank should continue to support industries like BUA Group that use locally sourced raw materials to add value to the nation’s economy.
Also speaking at the event, CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, commended BUA’s investment in the cement industry,
He said: “The BUA group’s investment in Sokoto and in other parts of Nigeria reflects their belief in our country, and in the immense opportunities available in the industrial sector, given the abundance of human and natural resources in Nigeria.”