The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retd.), on Thursday, paid a visit to Sokoto State to inaugurate a cement plant owned by BUA Group, as well as a power plant.
He was hosted by Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
The 4th line of the BUA cement plant is estimated to produce three million metric tonnes of cement per annum plant.
President Buhari lauded the company for believing in Nigeria, and for being the largest employer of labour in the North-West region of the country.
The President expressed delight that the policies of the Federal Government on economic diversification, job creation, as well as creating an enabling environment was yielding fruits.
He pledged that his regime would continue to support serious investors to set up businesses that will take advantage of huge reserves of resources in different parts of the country.
He also recounted that the second facility of the cement plant was inaugurated when he was the Head of State in 1985.
”Today, almost thirty-seven years later, to commission the fourth line is a very special day for me personally.
”As you all know, one of the key economic pillars of our administration has been to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. This is necessary for job creation and indeed, for our economy and national security.
”In the past few weeks, I visited Ogun and Kaduna states where I observed many private sector investments in action. And today, I am here in Sokoto to commission this multi-billion Naira project.
”It is therefore very clear for all to see that our policies are working. Progress is gradually being made in all parts of the country,” Buhari said.
The President thanked the Founder of BUA Cement, Abdul Samad Rabiu, and the entire team for the great efforts made to diversify the economy and create new jobs for the teeming population.
He noted that the company, which has built four new cement plants of similar capacity in the last five years, in different parts of the country, is set to complete two more plants soon.
He reiterated that BUA had shown through these investments that it believes in Nigeria and its potential.
The President said, ”I am pleased that 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.
”I always remind Nigerians that every region, indeed every state, in Nigeria sits on huge reserves of resources. For example, in this area, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara can boast of rice production, gold, and other precious metals development and of course, heavy industries like cement manufacturing.
”As a Government, we introduced policies and mechanisms to support such investments in a legal, ethical and inclusive manner.
”We remain prepared to support serious investors to set up businesses that will take advantage of these opportunities through value addition so as to take advantage of the huge market here, as well as in the greater African region and the world at large,” President Buhari said.
In response, the Chairman, BUA Cement, Abdul Samad Rabiu, commended the President for creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. He acknowledged the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria and its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in setting up the plant.
”So far, we have invested over a billion dollars in the past four years and we urge the CBN to continue to support industries like ours, as we use locally sourced raw materials to add value,” he said.
”In the past 6 years, we have completed 4 plants – two in Obu, Edo State and two in Sokoto (of which this Sokoto line 4 is the fourth) with BUA’s total production capacity now standing at 11.5million tonnes with the completion of this plant.
”Next year, we intend to complete the construction of two new plants of 3 million metric tonnes each for which construction is ongoing – one in Edo and the other, here in Sokoto.”
The Chairman of BUA said he looked forward to President Buhari inaugurating these new plants next year. The new plants will bring total production capacity to 17.5 million metric tonnes.
Dignitaries at the event were the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele; Chairman BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, among others.