Caption: Makhtar Sop Diop, Managing Director, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Abdul Samad Rabiu, Founder/Executive Chairman, BUA Group, at the Africa CEO Forum 2022- Credit: Twitter
The International Finance Corporation, on Monday made its largest-ever investment in northern Nigeria, by way of a $500m financing package alongside African and European partners that will enable BUA Cement Plc part-finance and develop two new energy-efficient cement production lines, creating up to 12,000 direct and indirect jobs.
A breakdown of the financing package includes a $160.5m loan from IFC’s own account, a $94.5m loan through the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP), and the balance $245m in parallel loans from syndication partners; the African Development Bank (AfDB) – $100m, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) – $100m, and the German Investment Corporation, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) – $45m.
The financing, announced during the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, will allow BUA, Nigeria’s second largest cement producer, develop new production lines in northern Nigeria’s Sokoto State. The plants will run partly on alternative fuels derived from waste and solar power. Each will produce about three million tons of cement annually when complete, serving markets in Nigeria, Niger, and Burkina Faso.
Investing in northern Nigeria, according to a statement by, is integral to IFC’s strategy to promote sustainable development in underserved regions, including areas with limited opportunities and a need for increased private sector engagement. The new plants will provide local developers with a reliable and affordable source of cement, and bolster the construction of essential infrastructure, fostering economic growth and prosperity for the region.
The project is expected to create about 1,000 direct jobs, including those in manufacturing, engineering, and advanced automation systems, and 10,800 indirect jobs such as those in the cleaning, maintenance, mining, and transportation sectors.
Commenting on the investment, Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman and Founder of BUA Group, expressed delight at partnering “with IFC and other esteemed institutions in securing this $500m facility to develop energy-efficient cement production capacity and strengthen our equipment and logistics capabilities in northern Nigeria.
“In line with our commitment to sustainability and ESG principles, this investment will create jobs and contribute to economic and infrastructural development within Nigeria and the greater Sahel region. We are particularly pleased to have successfully gone through the rigorous process with IFC, AfDB, AFC, and DEG, which validates our responsible business practices. By focusing on greener fuels and enhancing our equipment and logistics platform, BUA Cement is building a foundation for sustainable infrastructure growth and a more inclusive society,” he added.
Also speaking on the deal, Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director expressed the corporation’s pleasure at joining “with our partners to support BUA with an investment that will boost industrialization, create jobs and deliver economic growth in northern Nigeria, a region with significant economic potential.”
The financing package announced by IFC and its partners will also allow BUA to replace some of its diesel trucks with vehicles that are run partly on natural gas, over time producing fewer emissions. As part of the project, IFC will also advise BUA on developing a gender inclusive workplace strategy that creates more opportunities for women across its operations.
For Samaila Zubairu, Chief Executive Office & President of AFC noted that “following an initial $200m investment in BUA Group in 2021, we are proud to play another key role in this landmark manufacturing project set to transform the construction sector in northern Nigeria and the entire country.
“By investing in this project, we are sustainably building Nigeria’s local manufacturing capacity, empowering local communities and creating employment opportunities. AFC is committed to working with our partners to accelerate development impact through infrastructure solutions that support value addition, industrialization, and job creation throughout Africa,” he said
“The African Development Bank is pleased to be partnering with IFC and BUA on this expansion project as it is aligned with our priority strategies of industrializing Africa and improving the quality of lives of Africans through the increase in cement production which will lead to the development of additional affordable housing and critical infrastructure in Nigeria and neighboring West African countries, while supporting the use of cleaner energy at BUA’s Sokoto facility” said Solomon Quaynor, Vice President – Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization of African Development Bank (AfDB).
“DEG’s mission is to be a reliable partner to private sector enterprises as drivers of development and creators of qualified jobs. We are pleased to contribute to this transaction together with our development finance partner institutions. Together we support BUA in its transformation towards a more sustainable production by implementing innovative technology. The significant reduction of CO2 emissions and the creation of decent jobs in a region with many vulnerable households are key factors for DEG’s financing,” said Gunnar Stork, Senior Director at DEG.
The statement also noted that the investment in BUA is part of IFC’s strategy to promote diversified, inclusive growth and job creation in Nigeria, where IFC supports the manufacturing agribusiness, healthcare, infrastructure, technology, and financial services sectors. It added that IFC already has an active investment portfolio of $2.3 billion in Nigeria.