The BUA cement and coal power plants built at the cost of $350m (N107bn) was inaugurated on Tuesday by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The cement plant situated in Kalambina, Sokoto State, has an installed capacity of 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum, while the coal power plant is a 32-megawatts multi-fuel captive plant capable of generating more power than what the entire Sokoto State is currently generates, according to the Chairman, BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu.
In his remarks, the Vice President, Osinbajo stated that Nigeria, which currently produces over 40 million metric tonnes of cement per annum, was the largest producer of the commodity in Africa and that the BUA cement plant would further consolidate the Federal Government’s efforts to be self-sufficient in cement production and a net exporter of the product.
He noted that the investment by the firm in the plant and others like it were a clear demonstration that the country had vast capacity and potential for profitable investments.
The vice-president stated that the next three years would be critical in Nigeria’s infrastructure, adding that for the country to be where it ought to be in terms of development, construction was crucial.
According to him, with a housing deficit of 17 million and the fact that concrete roads have been discovered to be better than asphalted roads in terms of durability, it shows that cement will feature prominently in Nigeria’s infrastructural development efforts.
He noted, however, that with the volume of demand and work that would go to the sector, it would be possible to construct roads and build houses at cheaper rates than being done currently.
“I believe that between Rabiu and his brother, Dangote, they can find a way to bring down the price of cement,” Osinbajo added.
Also speaking, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said the BUA cement plant was one of the efforts of the state government in partnership with the private sector to harness the vast and unexploited natural resources in the state.
He stated that the state had been encouraging more private sector investments through incentives, tax breaks, waivers, access to finance and others.
According to him, the focus of the state has recently shifted to the Small and Medium Enterprises sector, while also formulating a strategic investment plan to support and guide businesses that produce raw materials for the productive sector.