The management of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has announced that it would invest over $700 million in sugar projects to help the Federal Government’s Backward Integration Policy, which aims to make Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production.
Dangote Industries Limited revealed this to visiting members of the Nasarawa House of Assembly on Friday, according to a statement released on Sunday.
Nigeria was one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest sugar importers, second only to South Africa with an annual import of over $337 million, according to the company.
Dangote Sugar management, on the other hand, told lawmakers that by completing its sugar projects in Nasarawa and Adamawa under the BIP, the country will save more than half of the forex spent on sugar imports each year.
It went on to say that the investment would benefit the people as well, since the sugar projects would include other people-oriented facilities.
The Dangote Group’s choice of the state for the project, as well as the project’s rapid speed, despite occasional delays caused by communal disputes, were lauded by state lawmakers.
When the factory is fully operational, General Manager for the BIP, Dangote Sugar, John Beverley, says it will be able to crush 12,000 tons of cane per day and produce 90MW of power for both the business and the host communities.
He also revealed that a total of 500 kilometers of roads will be built to improve transportation in the region. He asked lawmakers for help in combating the threat of land encroachment by settlers and itinerant farmers.
The Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Abdullah, and his team, who were taken on a tour of the company’s 78,000-hectare BIP in the Tunga Awe Local Government Area, praised the project.
Abdullah said that it would not only open up opportunities in the state, but also in Africa as a whole, and that lawmakers were ready to work with the business and fund it through appropriate laws in order to bring the sugar project to fruition.
According to the group, when phase II of the project is completed, it will be Africa’s largest sugar refining facility.