HOW BUA CHAIRMAN, ABDUL SAMAD RABIU BECAME THE BIGGEST EMPLOYER OF LABOUR IN NORTHWEST NIGERIA
Only a few days ago, he was adjudged Nigeria’s second richest man, a feat he achieved by putting the interest of Nigerians, especially his Northeast region into selfless consideration. He is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, BUA Group, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu.
Describing his efficiency, notable Nigerians, who attended the opening of the 3 million metric tonnes per annum BUA Cement Sokoto Line 4 Factory or 3MPTA BUA cement, line 4 cement plant, in Sokoto, took turns to remark the importance of the industrialist, who on many occasions, has made the Forbes list of billionaires in the world, following his inclination to creating millionaires through the provision of veritable employment opportunities, with special focus on those of his northwest origin. Today, he is the fifth richest man in Africa, and the second richest man in Nigeria.
The BUA Cement Sokoto Line 4 was built to the following specifications: three million metric tonnes per annum capacity; 6,000 TPD ILC with the highest energy efficiency and latest pollution abating equipment; 48 MW dual fuel power Plant and so on. The Line 5 is already in the works and should be ready in the first quarter of 2023.
With an array of political, financial and entrepreneurial presence at the occasion, the person of Alhaji Samad and the importance of his BUA Group were brought to the fore and celebrated. Leading the fray of eulogies, Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, could not hide his joy at the impact of the entrepreneurial giant, noting that he has remained the largest employer of labour in the northwest region of Nigeria.
He 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.
”For example, we have the National Food Security Council on Food Security Matters and the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative to develop local artisanal gold mining and ensure health and safety of mining workers and protect the environment.
”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.”
Recalling how he, as Head of State in 1985, was at the same location to commission the 2nd line of the facility, the president expressed quite a feeling of nostalgia.
”Today, almost 37 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,” he said.
In his speech as well, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, lauded the seasoned entrepreneur, and appealed to manufacturers of building materials in the country to bring down cost of building materials to affordable price for ordinary citizens.
Speaking about the high cost of building materials in the country, he said, “let me use this opportunity to appeal to our manufacturers to please take urgent actions in bringing down price of building materials in Nigeria.
“Indeed, there have been call by construction companies urging the cement and steel manufacturers to do something about the skyrocket price of these two essential items in the manufacturing sector.
“These sector is one of the major sectors of our economy that contribute to the creation of employment and produce for both domestic and export use. Please pay more attention at satisfying our domestic needs, so that prices can come down,” Emefiele said.
He assured that the Central Bank of Nigeria on its part will continue to provide needed support in the provision of need cash, plants and equipment, needed to improve the capacity of the cement production in the country
He said the Central Bank of Nigeria is ready to assist existing investors, both the current and prospective manufacturers that the bank is ready to continue to collaborate with them in enabling the development of viable manufacturing sector in the country.
In his response, Abdul Samad Rabiu commended the President for creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, and acknowledged the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its Governor in setting up the gigantic project.
He noted that, ”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 that use locally sourced raw materials to add value.”
He pledged that BUA would continue to invest more in the cement industry until Nigeria is self-sufficient and the commodity is made available, accessible, and affordable for all Nigerians.
”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 11.5 million 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 commissioning these plants next year which will bring total production capacity to 17.5 million metric tonnes.