In an effort to boost the country’s economy, President Muhammadu Buhari has emphasized that his administration is ready to render full support to entrepreneurs.
The President at the State House in Abuja yesterday, while welcoming the Management of BUA Group led by the Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu, said that business owners and the business community would continue to have his administration’s full support as long as their investments matched the government’s priorities in adding value and creating jobs.
“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 import substitution and domestic job creation policies and programmes.”
According to him, the huge growth experienced by conglomerates like BUA Group is evidence of the accuracy of government policies.
He expressed the government’s focus on import substitution to boost local production and export foster growth and stability, urging investors to take advantage of the vision.
President Buhari lauded the Chairman of BUA Group for concentrating investments in the country, and transiting from trade to manufacturing.
“I am impressed and proud of the transformation BUA has made from trading concern to a manufacturing conglomerate.
“A key pillar of our administration’s policy thrust is import substitution especially when it comes to essential items such as food, household consumables and shelter. A nation of our size and with our natural and human resources is exhibiting its weakness if it continues importing essential commodities.
“For every grain of rice, wheat or maize we import, we destroy the livelihoods of our local farmers while creating jobs abroad. It is because of this that seven years ago, our Government introduced numerous laws, executive orders and incentives that support businesses with import substitution projects,’’ the President said.
He stressed that the focus of the admiration stays on job creation and economic security.
“In the medium term our hope was to see Nigerian companies expand their production expertise and capacity to other African nations helping them to also 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 themselves.
“Today, through the BUA story, it is clear that we are on track! The company has continued to invest in domestic production and processing leveraging our local raw materials and youthful talent.
“It is always heartwarming to see and learn of Nigerian companies doing so much within Nigeria. Most of this phenomenal growth was achieved during this administration,’’ he added.
President Buhari noted that the successes recorded by entrepreneurs and the business community, like BUA, were “clear testaments to the correctness of our programs and policies.’’
“We have also seen similar successes especially in the food and agri-input value chain,’’ he said.
On businesses, the President commended the Chairman of BUA for his resilience, steadfastness and patriotism, reiterating that the government would continue to encourage small businesses to grow.
“You have shown through your efforts at BUA, what is possible in our country and this is what I have always been working towards, a situation where we have businesses that can add value, create employment opportunities and reduce our dependence on imports whilst positioning ourselves for exports and global competitiveness.
“I am therefore not surprised to hear that two of your group companies – BUA Cement plc and BUA Foods Plc, are now among the top 10 most valuable publicly listed companies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Your success story and those of many more Nigerian entrepreneurs, give us the motivation to do more as a Government to support the aspirations of all businesses big and small,’’ he submitted.
President Buhari also thanked the businessman for his philanthropy saying “you did not stop at what your country has enabled you to achieve, but you also continue to give back.
“The Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative has been implementing philanthropic programs not only in Nigeria, but across Africa.
“A good example is the Police National Reference Hospital building in Abuja which you recently donated to the Nigerian Police Force. Such exemplary and impactful gestures are needed to support our security agencies who are working very hard, day and night, to secure our lives and properties. On behalf of the Nigerian Government, I want to thank you for your patriotism.’’
Rabiu in his remarks also did not hold back from praising the President as he made mention of the several achievements of the BUA Group under the Pres. Buhari administration, saying;
“We have continued to build and invest extensively in Nigeria and all these new projects were made possible because of the immense opportunities your government has created in ensuring industrialisation and self-sufficiency by supporting serious businesses across many industries to fully harness our locally available resources and potentials.
“Your Excellency, I must say that you have done so much and tried in creating an enabling environment for businesses across Nigeria going by the strides we-and many others-have made. The results can-and will speak for themselves long after you have left office. We know where we were in 2015 when you came in,” Rabiu further said.