By Dipo Olowookere
Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote, on Thursday visited site of the factory being built by one of his main rivals in the industry, BUA Sugar Refinery and Plantation in Lafiagi, Kwara State. The new factory is owned by Chairman of BUA Group and CCNN, Mr Abdulsamad Rabiu.
Business Post gathered that Mr Dangote was among the team led by Governor of Kwara State, Mr AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who were at the refinery yesterday. Also, on the entourage was the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo amongst other top players in the corporate business community in Nigeria.
Speaking during the visit, Mr Rabiu commended the state government for the “maximum support” it has given the conglomerate and its drive to attract investments to Kwara State.
He said when completed, the factory would produce 10,000 tons of sugar per day and employ thousands of people.
“What we are trying to do is to produce not only plantation of raw sugar but also refined sugar. So, as you saw when we went round the factory, you will see that we have all the equipment for us to be able to complete this project by December next year, God willing. We have the equipment to be able to produce 10,000 tons per day,” Mr Rabiu said.
The Minister, while also speaking, said the factory aptly keys into the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s campaign for local content, food security and less reliance on importation of goods.
“The whole basis of this visit is for me to have firsthand knowledge of what is going on here, so that will enable me sit down (with my team) and see what we can do to assist you to fast track things especially as regards what we are trying to achieve in the local sugar production,” Mr Adebayo added.
He commended the BUA Group for the huge investment which the minister said would employ thousands of Nigerians when completed.
In his remarks, Governor AbdulRazaq assured the investment community of a friendly environment in the state, reaffirming that adequate security would be provided.
“I welcome you all to Kwara. We are open to business. Ours is to assist you and ease the business environment for you so that you can invest more in Kwara. Our doors are open. We will make sure to keep you in Kwara,” he assured.
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