Thursday, 24 September 2015

DANGOTE’S BIGGEST ENEMY EXPLAINS HOW REHABILITATION OF REFINERIES HAS BOOSTED HIS CEMENT PRODUCTION

Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group
Alhaji Aliko Dangote’s biggest enemy and rival who is the Chairman of BUA Group and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc (CCNN), Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, has stated that the current rehabilitation of the nation’s local refineries has continued to boost local production in the industrial sector, especially his two cement companies.

It would be recalled that Alhaji Dangote connived with Olusegun Obasanjo, during his regime and used both Nigerian Customs Services and EFCC to destabilize the operations of BUA Group so that Dangote would enjoy monopoly of cement production and sale in Nigeria.

In a statement made available to Tectono Business Review, Alhaji Rabiu stated that the rehabilitation effort had already led to increased supply of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) to his Sokoto cement plant, therefore leading to efficient capacity utilisation in the plant.

According to him, the Federal Government has further reduced the price of LFPO from around N77.94 to N51.38 per litre in order to boost local industries. He added 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.

Alhaji Rabiu said: “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.

“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.”

Alhaji Rabiu also spoke on the new line currently being added by BUA Group in Sokoto. He said that at $300million, the project is currently the single largest private investment in the North West region, adding that 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.

He said that although, the additional line would come with coal as the primary source of fuel, LPFO would still be used as a backup fuel at the plant.

He added: “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.”