The efforts of the Ebonyi State Government towards full industrialization of the State on Wednesday received another boost as the BUA Group visited the State to fine-tune arrangement towards the establishment a cement factory in Okpoto, Ishielu Local Government area of the State.
Receiving the group, led by the Group Managing Director of the conglomerate, Alhaji Kabiru Rabiu, at the Government House, Abakaliki, Umahi reiterated his desire to inaugurate for the state four functional cement factories by the end of his second tenure in 2023.
The Governor, who advised the BUA Group to move fast in its operational arrangements so as to beat other local and international contenders for the investment, stressed that his interest lies mostly in concretely realizing the dream than on who handles the project.
He assured that with the massive, qualitative infrastructure put in place by his administration in the State, coupled with the best quality and expansive limestone deposit in the proposed location, covering over 23.8 square kilometres, the viability of the investment was guaranteed.
He added that with the coal deposits in Afikpo, Ishielu and Ohaukwu areas of the State, the coal power required for driving the factory in the interim would not pose any difficulty for the investor.
Umahi said: “If you move fast, I will boycott the Chinese people and give it to you
“We are not interested in who sets it up but who can set is as fast as we want and, of course, your company is a very large one and we will be happy to deal with you.
“Like I said, the sites are about five within Ishielu and Ohaukwu and cover about 23.8sq km.
“I am very excited…in my two tenures, I will commission about four cement plants here.”
Umahi further noted that with the contemporary innovation in road infrastructure in the State through the use of rigid, concrete pavement which was fast becoming a model throughout the country, demand for cement and related products had risen astronomically thereby guaranteeing ready market for the product.
He appealed to the BUA Group to establish a cement depot in the State in the interim to supplement the large demand for the product emanating from massive construction works going on across all sections of the State and directed the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, to liaise with the company to actualize the request.
Rabiu, while stating their mission, said they were in the state to see how they can utilize the abundant high quality limestone deposits in the State through the establishment of a cement factory.
He described as unfortunate that the State in particular and the South East in general, which housed the premier cement company, NIGERCEM, could not today boast of a single factory.
He however noted that with the strategic location of the State and the infrastructural innovation of the Governor, the State can take advantage of the huge and diverse available market to advance its economy, adding that the Group was excited over the achievements of the Governor which has created conducive environment for rewarding investments.
Enumerating their many investments across the country, Rabiu described BUA Cement as one of the leading cement factories in Nigeria and assured Umahi that with the support of the State, the factory would be actualized promptly for the good of the State.
Recall that the Ibeto Group at the moment has been on towards revamping the long moribund NIGERCEM factory in Nkalagu, while anticipating a brand new one in Ohaukwu.
The State Government with La-farge has also been assessing the possibility of establishing another cement factory in Ebonyi Local Government Area of the State.
The BUA group also assured that it was prepared to commence core drilling activities at the proposed site