They say you can’t build viable, large non-oil and gas businesses in Port Harcourt. They also say, companies are not willing to invest in Nigeria’s slowly recovering economy. Don’t let anyone tell you what is possible and what is not, the world today is full of endless possibilities. Today, Port Harcourt is proud to be the host city for BUA’s USD 400 million Food Industrial Complex consisting of the following audacious achievements;
– The largest Sugar Refinery in Africa at 720,000mtpa
– The largest Flour Milling Plant in Nigeria 500,000mtpa
– The largest Pasta processing Plant in Nigeria 500,000mtpa
– A 24MW Power Plant.
BUA Group is Nigeria’s largest privately-owned conglomerate with interest in mining, manufacturing, foods, and agriculture. The company made the USD 400 million investment decision in 2013, with the aim of becoming a world conglomerate. The project is situated at a prime location with easy access to the sea, rail lines and very good road networks. The entire factory is powered by a 3-way integrated power source which is abundantly available in the Niger Delta region.
- A 12mw Gas Generator
- A 1Omw Turbine
- A 2mw Diesel Generator
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
According to Mohammed Ibrahim Lile, General Manager at Bua Ports and Terminal, the construction of this project was carried out by 95% of Nigerians and 5% of expatriates with the sole purpose of transferring technical knowledge to Nigerians in case there is need to replicate this project in the country. The complex will provide direct jobs for over 1,000 people with several opportunities for indirect jobs. This is no doubt a good step to show Nigerians and foreign investors that there are other sectors in Port Harcourt to invest in asides from the oil and gas.
So far, the only thing threatening the project is the dispute with the Nigerian Ports Authority. Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has been a pain in the neck as regards to the smooth flow of the concluded project. Despite the laudable investment by Mr. Rabiu Abdulsamad (Chairman, Bua Group), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman (Managing Director of NPA) immediately terminated the lease contract with BUA Ports & Terminals LTD. BUA Ports & Terminal LTD is a subsidiary of BUA Group with a lease agreement to operate terminal B, Rivers Port, Port Harcourt.
FOLLOW UP ACTION
This move is threating the future of this investment, and the positive impact it could have on Rivers indigenes. Ms Hadiza is claiming that BUA had neglected the ports, whereas, BUA had issued a letter requesting for remedial works. BUA is not a saint in this dispute, neither is the move to terminate the agreement. Apparently, the dispute is more of a display of power, because both Ms Hadiza and Mr. Rabiu are both blue bloods from Kaduna and Kano States respectively. Indeed, when a good thing is about to happen, some evil is lurking around the corner trying to thwart progress! Hopefully, both parties will bury the hatchet for the good of Port Harcourt.
This project is a welcomed achievement, and we hope to see more private investment in our city of Port Harcourt.
THIS ARTICLE WAS FEATURED ON THE NOVEMBER EDITION OF “PORT HARCOURT INSIGHT”, A GAMBETANEWS.COM PUBLICATION