With a national annual import of over $337million, the management of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has declared its irrevocable commitment to the Backward Integration Policy (BIP) of the Federal Government to reverse the trend and make Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production.
The company which is committing over $700million to its sugar projects told visiting members of the Nasarawa House of Assembly at the weekend that the company’s investments in sugar will revolutionalize the economy of the state and lift its people as other people-oriented infrastructure would come with the sugar projects.
The state lawmakers who were obviously excited at the sugar projects commended the Dangote Group for choice of the state for the project and the accelerated pace with which the project was being executed despite occasional delays arising from communal disagreements.
Nigeria is one of the sub-Saharan Africa’s largest importers of sugar, second only to South Africa, but the Dangote Sugar management assured the lawmakers that by the time the company fully completes its sugar projects in Nasarawa and Adamawa under the BIP, the nation would be saved of more than half of the forex expended on sugar imports annually.
General Manager for the Backward Integration Project, Mr. John Beverley, said when the factory is fully operational, it would have the capacity to crush 12,000 tons cane per day (tcd), while 90MW power will be generated for both the company’s use and host communities. He disclosed also that some 500km roads in all will be constructed to ease transportation within te vicinity, even as he solicited the support of the lawmakers in controlling the menace of land enchroachment by settlers and itinerant farmers. Beverley said the company has been carrying out Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in the communities pointing out that so far the company has constructed boreholes, schools, Clinic and awarded scholarship among other CSR services.