Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday, in Sokoto, commissioned the 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum BUA Kalambaina cement plant, valued at N126bn.
Osibanjo described the occasion as an important milestone, not only to BUA Group of companies but Nigerians in general, noting that the country produces 40 million metric tonnes of cement annually.
The vice president disclosed that the nation’s investment level was still at 35 per cent of the total GDP, advising that working with the private sector is the only way to go towards boosting the economy.
According to him, the President Muhammadu Buhari government had introduced numerous business friendly policies towards achieving the aim of ensuring that every state in Nigeria can compete with every country in Africa in terms of investment opportunities.
Osinbajo advocated the use of cement in constructing roads on grounds that it is cheaper and better. He further pleaded with both BUA Group and Dangote Group of companies to consider reducing the price of cement, as according to him Nigeria at the moment has a housing deficit of about 17 million.
Speaking earlier, the executive chairman/CEO, BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, said the $350 million BUA 1.5 metric tonnes Kalambaina cement plant remained the single largest investment in the North Western part of Nigeria, adding that it would provide direct jobs for 2000 people and indirect jobs for another 10, 000 people.
Abdulsamad noted that the vice president had commissioned BUA’s three million tonnes greenfield plant in Okpella, Edo State, 10 months ago, and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for enunciating policies that favour investment
“Your Excellency Sir, the plant which you are commissioning today is very unique from various viewpoints – be it its location, its economic value and social impact, huge limestone deposits, human capital potential, amongst others. These were some of the things we took into consideration when we made the decision to site this plant here.
” I must say, however, that this project would not have been possible without the effort by the President Muhammed Buhari-led administration to put deliberate policies in place to support key industries in the real sector – from agriculture to manufacturing.
“Through these policies, the CBN provided enough foreign exchange for heavy machinery to come in and this was helpful in completing the project on schedule. I therefore want to commend the administration for the policy because without that, it may not have been possible to complete the plant.
“Let me add that what we have done here is a pointer to the fact that Nigeria is ready for business with the right policies and right operating environment.”
On his part, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, divulged that Sokoto is one of the states in Nigeria with lots of unexplored natural resources.
Tambuwal noted that the state government had created enabling environment for investors in the state, adding that the state’s independent power project is already at 80 per cent completion.
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