By Lawrence Olaoye
Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, has said that local production of cement in the country has saved the nation about $2 billion annually.
Rabiu made the disclosure yesterday while briefing State House Correspondents after a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on Industrial Policy, consisting of private sector stakeholders, chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Chairman of BUA Group, which is a foremost indigenous cement manufacturing company in the country said without the manufacturing of about 25 to 30 million tones of cement annually by local producers, the price of the products would have escalated.
Asked what impact the local manufacturing of cement has had on the nation’s economy, Rabiu said “The most important thing I think is that the cement industry in Nigeria has and will continue to save Nigeria a lot of foreign exchange.
“If for example, you look at what we have produced in Nigeria today, maybe 25 to 30 million tons. If we quantify that in terms of foreign exchange it is almost 2 billion dollars per year.
“That is a lot of money being saved because if we do not have these cement plants definitely we have to import cement.
We will be commissioning our Sokoto plant next quarter, early 2018 and also our Edo second cement line will come on stream probably by second quarter of next year.”
On what the Council came to meet Osinbajo, the BUA group boss said “We are here this evening to attend the monthly Presidential Advisory Council meeting with the Vice President and we discussed a lot of issues .
“As you all know this council is one that is trying to bring private sector together with the government to come up with ideas on how we can improve on a lot of things most especially infrastructure, power, roads and so many other things.
“I believe this is a good thing. This is the third meeting we are having today and we will have another meeting next month.
“The Council has made a lot of progress and a lot of areas have been identified that the government, together with the private sector, are going to work together to see that work can start as soon as possible.
In fact, I believe last week, one of the ideas that we presented was deliberated upon at the (Federal Executive Council) FEC meeting and approval was given. We are looking forward to another meeting and I believe in the next few months a lot of things will take shape as far as this council is concerned.”