Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Adeniyi Adebayo on Thursday toured the BUA sugar refinery and plantation in Lafiagi, Kwara State, amid assurances by AbdulRazaq that the state is open to business.
They were joined on the tour of the facility by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote; chairman of the BUA conglomerate Abdulsamad Rabiu; and other top players in the corporate business community in Nigeria.
“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,” AbdulRazaq said at the Lafiagi site of the multimillion dollar sugar refinery under construction by the BUA Group.
That comes a day after the Governor said the state would scale up its security arrangements as part of its overall strategy to attract more investments.
Adebayo said the factory aptly keys into the 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,” Adebayo added.
Adebayo also commended the BUA Group for the huge investment which the minister said would employ thousands of Nigerians when completed.
Rabiu, for his part, hailed AbdulRazaq for his “maximum support” for the conglomerate and his drive to attract investments to Kwara State, and said 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,” Rabiu added.