By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari assured entrepreneurs and the business community that their investments will continue to receive the full support of his administration, noting that the massive growth experienced by conglomerates such as BUA Group is proof of the correctness of government policies.
According to a statement by the president’s special adviser on media and publicity Femi Adesina, Buhari, who received the leadership of the BUA group, led by President Abdul Samad Rabiu, at the State House, said that the emphasis placed by the government on import substitution to encourage production and export drive growth and stability, and he urged investors to take advantage of this vision.
“Let me assure you and the entire business community that this government remains ready, willing and able to support all well-meaning Nigerian entrepreneurs whose investments align with our policies and import substitution and domestic job creation,” he said.
President Buhari commended the Chairman of BUA Group for the concentration of investments in the country and the transition from trading to manufacturing.
“I am impressed and proud of BUA’s transformation from a commercial enterprise into a manufacturing conglomerate.
“A key pillar of our administration’s policy direction is import substitution, especially when it comes to essential items such as food, household consumables and housing. A nation of our size and with our natural and human resources shows its weakness if it continues to import essential products.
“For every grain of rice, wheat or corn that we import, we are destroying the livelihoods of our local farmers while creating jobs overseas. It is for this reason that seven years ago our government introduced many laws, decrees and incentives that support companies with import substitution projects,” he said.
The president emphasized that the focus of admiration remains on job creation and economic security.
“In the medium term, our hope was to see Nigerian companies extend their expertise and production capacity to other African countries, also helping them achieve their food and economic security goals. In the long term, our desire is to create a peaceful and prosperous continent with its young and talented population feeding, clothing and housing.
“Today, through the history of BUA, it is clear that we are on the right track! The company continued to invest in domestic production and processing by leveraging our local raw materials and young talent.
“It is always heartening to see and learn that Nigerian companies are doing so much in Nigeria. Most of this phenomenal growth has been achieved under this administration,” he added.
President Buhari noted that the successes recorded by entrepreneurs and the business community, like the BUA, were “clear testimonies to the soundness of our programs and policies”.
“We have also had similar successes, particularly in the food and agricultural input value chain,” he said.
The President commended the BUA Chairman for his resilience, steadfastness and patriotism, saying the government would continue to encourage the growth of small businesses.
“You have shown through your efforts at BUA, what is possible in our country and that is what I have always worked towards, a situation where we have companies that can add value, create opportunities for jobs and reduce our dependence on imports while positioning ourselves for exports and global competitiveness.
“I am therefore not surprised to learn that two of your group companies – BUA Cement plc and BUA Foods Plc, are now among the top 10 most valuable listed companies in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Your success story and that of many other Nigerian entrepreneurs motivates us to do more as a government to support the aspirations of all businesses, big and small,” he said.
Buhari also thanked the businessman for his philanthropy.
“Furthermore, you have not stopped at what your country has allowed you to achieve, but you also continue to give back. The Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative has implemented philanthropic programs not only in Nigeria, but across Africa.
“A good example is the National Police Referral Hospital building in Abuja, which you recently donated to the Nigerian Police. These exemplary and impactful gestures are needed to support our very hard-working security agencies, day and night, to secure our lives and property.On behalf of the Nigerian government, I would like to thank you for your patriotism.
In his remarks, Alhaji Rabiu said that the BUA group is very aware of where it was at the advent of the Buhari administration and the giant steps it has taken today.
He counted the Group’s blessings to include: three new 7.5 million metric ton capacity cement plants in Edo and Sokoto States at the already existing plants, a new 750,000 metric ton sugar refinery in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, a 20,000 hectare fully integrated 4-in-1 sugar plantation in Kwara State with a sugar refinery and ethanol plant, four flour and pasta factories, a 200,000 barrels per day refinery with a petrochemical plant, among others.
Buhari said, “We have continued to build and invest heavily in Nigeria and all these new projects have been made possible because of the immense opportunities your government has created to ensure industrialization and self-sufficiency by supporting serious businesses in many sectors to fully exploit our premises. available resources and potentials.
“Your Excellency, I must say that you have done so much and tried to create an enabling environment for businesses across Nigeria by following the progress that we and many others have made. The results can and will speak for themselves. long after you left office, we know where we were in 2015 when you arrived.