Chairman of BUA Group and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (in which BUA Cement holds a majority stake), Abdulsamad Rabiu, has said the ongoing resuscitation of the nation's local refineries has continued to boost local production in the industrial sector.
Specifically, Rabiu in a statement said the resuscitation effort has already led to increased supply of LPFO (Low Pour Fuel Oil) to its Sokoto cement plant, therefore leading to efficient capacity utilisation in the plant.
He explained that the Federal Government has further reduced the price of LFPO from around N77.94 per litre to N51.38 per litre in an apparent move to boost local industries, adding that the company's effort had been slowed down over the years due to infrastructural challenges including erratic supply of fuel oil to the plant.
With the recent appointment of the new GMD for NNPC by the Buhari-led government, we are however beginning to see the impact of improved production at the refineries. Last year, CCNN spent about N7billion on fuel oil alone. However, this welcome development will bring about improved, cost-effective production and efficient capacity utilization at Sokoto Cement which should further engender a sustainable pricing regime that will make cement more affordable in the North Western region in the medium term", he said.
Abdulsamad Rabiu further added that the moves of the current administration to ensure optimal operations at the nation's refineries will rejuvenate moribund industries.
For instance, access to cheaper fuels associated with increased production at the refineries is already stimulating the rejuvenation of key industries including textiles and manufacturing in the North. I believe this effect will be replicated across the nation where certain industries are dependent on the refineries as their primary sources of fuel," Rabiu added.
On the new line currently being added by BUA Group in Sokoto, Rabiu stated that at $300million, the project is currently the single largest private investment in the North West region.
He said BUA Cement was committed to ensuring the timely completion of the project in2016 which is expected to add an additional 1.5million tonnes per annum to CCNN's current 500,000tpa capacity as part of the group's Cement Strategy for Nigeria, adding that though, the additional line will come with Coal as the primary source of fuel, LPFO will still be used as a backup fuel at the plant.
"To further consolidate our position as a major player, we will continue to pursue our mid-term cement expansion strategy vigorously and are currently exploring opportunities for further expansion especially in Nigeria," added Rabiu.