Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has commissioned BUA’s $1 billion Obu cement factory in Okpella, Edo state.
Speaking at the ceremony, Osinbajo said the construction of the factory is a big boost to the Nigerian economy as it would provide thousands of direct jobs.
The vice-president said the development connotes self-sufficiency in cement production.
“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,” Osinbajo said.
“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.”
Earlier, Abdulsamad Rabiu, chief executive officer of the BUA group, said the BUA has started the construction of another cement plant in Sokoto with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons at a cost of over $300 million which would be commissioned in 2018.
“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,” Rabiu said.
“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.”
Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo; Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano; Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of Edo and Okechukwu Enelamah, minister of industry, trade and investment were some of the dignitaries present at the ceremony.