BUA commissions new line in Sokoto plant

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, charged cement manufacturers to take urgent actions to reduce the price of cement and building materials in the country.

Indeed, he urged cement manufacturers to pay more attention to satisfying their domestic demand to bring down the price of cement.

The governor, at the official commissioning of the new BUA Cement Sokoto Line 4 and groundbreaking for Line 5, however, reiterated the apex bank’s determination to provide immediate support for the importation of spares, plants and equipment needed to increase the production capacities of cement companies in the country.

In his words: “I want to appeal to our manufacturers to please take urgent actions in bringing the price of building materials in the country. Indeed, there have been calls from construction companies urging our cement and steel manufacturers to do something about the skyrocketing prices of these two essential items in the construction industry.”

He said the sector is one of the major sectors in the economy helping to create employment opportunities and growth in the country.

He said over the past seven years, the present administration had been working assiduously to stir the economy from its dependence on imports towards an economy that is self-reliant, stressing that since the forex restriction on the 41 items banned by the CBN, the production capacity of the cement industry has doubled exponentially from 20 million tonnes in 2014 to about 60 million tonnes in 2021.

Also speaking, President Muhammadu Buhari said one of the economic pillars of his administration is to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive due to its ability to create jobs while also ensuring national security.

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He said his visit to Ogun and Kaduna states to observe many private sector investments clearly showed that his government’s policies were working.

He commended the BUA Group for its efforts in supporting the nation’s economic diversification and job creation agenda.

He added that with the investment, BUA had shown its belief in the country’s potential, saying BUA and other entrepreneurs had made Nigeria self-sufficient in cement and a net exporter of the strategic product.

“We are ready to support serious investors to set up businesses that will take advantage of the opportunities through value addition so as to take advantage of the huge market here as well as the greater Africa region and the world at large,” he said.

He said the AKK gas project, when completed, would bring gas for domestic and industrial purposes to the six geopolitical zones in the country.

“We expect this project to significantly reduce the cost of operations of industries in the regions. We are also investing in roads and rails to ease the movement of people, goods and services through facilitating trade and reducing logistic costs associated with the inefficiencies of bad roads and bridges.

“Furthermore, we remain committed to bringing peace and stability to all parts of Nigeria and will continue to improve security and personnel while expanding our social investment programmes to support the most vulnerable members of our communities,” he added.

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He called on enterprises and businesses to emulate BUA’s efforts in complementing the Federal Government, saying that the task of nation-building requires all hands to be on deck.

The Chairman, BUA Cement Plc, Abdul Samad Rabiu, said in the past six years, the firm has completed four plants – two in Obu, Edo State and two in Sokoto (of which the Sokoto line 4 is the fourth) with BUA’s total production capacity now standing at 11million tonnes with the completion of the plant.

He said by 2023, the company intends to complete the construction of two new plants of three million metric tonnes each for which construction is ongoing—One in Edo and the other here in Sokoto.

“We expect these plants to be completed next year, which will bring our total production capacity to 17million metric tonnes. We look forward to Your Excellency coming to commission them by the first quarter of 2023.”

The Governor, Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, said since he assumed office in 2015, his administration has been working assiduously to use the State’s economy to make Sokoto State a destination of choice for businesses and investors.

“We have put in place a legal and institutional framework to make the business environment conducive. It is therefore not surprising that our State was the second-best in the ease of doing business in Nigeria,” he said.

He noted that the continuous expansion of BUA’s investment in Sokoto is a testimonial to showcase that Sokoto State is indeed a conducive environment.