BUA Group, one of Nigeria’s largest conglomerate, on Tuesday unveiled its 1billion dollars Obu Cement factory in Okpella, Edo state at a commissioning ceremony performed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. During the ceremony, the Vice President also performed the groundbreaking of a 3million metric tonnes second line within the same complex. In attendance at the event were the Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki; the Governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje; Immediate Past Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah; Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh; the Emir of Kano, HRH Lamido Sanusi II; the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, CEOs and Captains of Industry amongst other dignitaries.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu said the commissioning of the over US1billion complex comprising of the 3 million tonnes BUA Cement, Obu Plant line 1 and the ground breaking of the second line of the same capacity was an important milestone for BUA Group, the Cement industry and the Nigeria economy as they will not only make the country self-sufficient in cement production but also a net exporter of the commodity. The foremost industrialist noted that the construction of a second cement plant line of 3 million tonnes was essential as the success and impressive efficiency of the Obu cement plant in its first year of operation was over 90 percent of capacity utilisation.
According to Rabiu, “This marks an important milestone, not only for the BUA Group but also for the Nigerian cement industry and the Nigerian economy in general as we witness the official commissioning of the 3 million tonnes Obu cement plant, as well as the ground breaking of the second line of 3 million tonnes plant.”
“Today’s event has witnessed the commissioning of one of the best cement plants anywhere in the world. It is engineered to be the most environmentally friendly cement plant in Africa with the most advanced duct emission systems. We also use natural gas, which is a very clean energy for both our kiln as well as the power plant in addition to having a very green environment.
“Similarly, BUA has started the construction of another greenfield cement plant in Sokoto State with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons at a cost of over $300 million which will be commissioned in 2018.
“Additionally, our investments in the 2 cement lines in Edo State represent the largest non-oil and gas related investment in the whole of the South-Southern region of Nigeria. With these, BUA will have invested over $2 billion dollars in the Nigerian cement industry with capacities in excess of over 12 million tons per annum within the course of a decade”. He affirmed.
Abdulsamad Rabiu mentioned that the over 10 years Nigerian integrated cement manufacturing policy which has transformed the country’s cement industry is a signal that Nigeria is closely attaining self-sufficiency in cement production and net exportation. He further added that the company built a 31 Kilometer gas pipeline to supply power to the plant. This is in addition to BUA’s investment in purchasing an over 50-megawatts power plant supplied by Siemens for the complex.
On his part, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, described the plant as a consolidation of Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement and a big boost to the nation’s export capacity.
Osinbajo who also commissioned the ground breaking of the second phase of the three million metric tonnes cement capacity reaffirmed the Buhari-led administration determination to continue with providing the enabling business environment, while going the extra mile to directly assist private sector in steadily growing our economy.
He added that the present administration is working very hard with the Industrial Policy Council to evolve and implement well-considered solutions to business impediments and economy stagnation in Nigeria.
While congratulating the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu and the staff for the remarkable achievement, Osinbajo described the commissioning of the multi-million dollar BUA Cement Factory, Okpella, as a consolidation of Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement and a big boost to the nation’s export capacity. On Abdulsamad Rabiu, the VP added that he is “numbered among individuals in Nigeria who are properly described as entrepreneurs, men and women running true, value added, job creating enterprises, using local resources and talents to create values and wealth.”
“I am extremely proud to be a Nigerian and I’m sure that several of us here are. This is a wholly Nigerian enterprise and we know that the planning, the execution and successful establishment of this industrial complex was done by a Nigerian and by a Nigerian team. It is really good to know. The construction of this plant is of course, a big boost to the Nigerian economy, it will provide thousands of direct jobs and indirect jobs, both for skilled and unskilled workers from the commencement of the construction of the plant to the smooth-running of the operation processes.
“At the level of production obtain it also means the consolidation of the Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement and a big boost to our export capacity.
“I am happy to note that for the construction of power production facility for this plant, the BUA Group has used the most modern and efficient gas turbine which combines low and economically value-cost with a very high degree of reliability,” he said.
Osinbajo noted that the enterprise typified the expectations of the present government in the economic and growth recovery plans which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 05, 2017, where the President made it clear that Nigeria’s economic emancipation and growth must be private sector-led and driven.
In his remark, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State who lauded the entrepreneurial spirits of BUA Group for reinvesting in the plant added that by the time they finished the second line, they would have invested in excess of a billion dollar to produce cement.