By Kevin Okunzuwa
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday inaugurated the Bua’s Obu green field three million metric tonnes per annum cement plant at Okpella, in Edo state.
Osinbajo, also performed the symbolic ground breaking of the company’s second line three million metric tonnes per annum plant.
The Vice President, who was also slated to commission the Edo Fertiliser Plant in Auchi, pledged that the federal government would remove all human inhibitions to encourage investors.
While commending management of Bua company for the achievement, Osinbajo said “i am proud to be a Nigerian’’.
“I am also proud to be associated with this wholly Nigerian enterprise, planned and executed by a Nigerian team.
“ I am happy to say that this project is a big boast to the Nigerian economy and the opportunity it will provide for both skilled and unskilled youths of this state and the country at large,” he said.
He said that the plant’s capacity output would guarantee self-sufficiency of cement production for the nation, especially “when Bua group is using modern and efficient facilities with local materials’’.
He said the company’s achievement had demonstrated that the Nigerian economy growth plan must be private sector driven.
Osinbajo assured the private sector that the federal government would endeavour to make policies that would remove bottle necks but “will identify inhibitions and eliminate them’’.
“We will continue to create the enabling business environment and will directly assist the private sector to grow which will in turn grow the Nigerian economy,” he said.
Gov. Godwin Obaseki, in his remarks, commended management of the company for taking the bold steps in 2015, to initiate the process of establishing the plant.
He expressed happiness that the management had made success of the company, including completely turning around the acquired moribund Edo cement factory.
Obaseki said the vision and mission of the company were in line with the state government’s economic reform agenda, adding that “the state government is ready to make Edo an industrial haven with friendly tax policies.”
Earlier, the Chairman of Bua Company, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, said the vision of the company was to provide Nigerians with the best quality cement using the best technology and best hands at the most affordable price.
Rabiu said the choice to site the plant at Okpella, in Estako East local government area of the state, was strategic, saying that “this community has the best limestone in the whole of the country”.
He said on completion of the second line in the first quarter of 2018, “it is expected to take our production capacity to 6million metric tonnes per annum’’.
“Right now, the Obu plant is one of the many cement projects we are doing in Nigeria. It is a modern plant with up-to-date facilities.
“It is technologically advanced and at the end of the construction period, we will be producing additional three million metric tonnes of cement per annum.
He said, “the Obu cement plant is located in Edo State and has a nice geographical area’’.
“The location is very good, being in the mid-west and it is very close to the cement market in the north, with excellent road networks in the south-west and to the east.
“So this place is at a strategic location to adequately distribute cement all over Nigeria,” he added.
Rabiu said on completion of the second line being handled by SINOMA CBMI of China, “we will be producing 42.5 cement grades while the Obu plant will produce any kind of cement that is allowed by the Nigerian Industrial Standards”.
He expressed confidence that SINOMA with their track record and vast expertise in deploying cement plants across the world, “it will deliver a world-class second line for our Obu Cement Plant.
“It wil also meet our stringent environmental, safety, quality and technical requirements for our plants and products,” he said.
Some of the dignitaries who graced the occasion are Agriculture minister Audu Ogbeh, health minister of health for state, Dr Osagie Ehinire; minister of trade and investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and Kano state governor Abdullahi Gadunje.
The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and former Edo governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomohle also attended the ceremony. (NAN)