Nigeria is currently losing at least 300,000 tonnes of sugar to smuggling annually, Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said yesterday.
He made this known during the Dangote Sugar Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.
Dangote said the smuggling activities in the sugar industry have hindered the employment of, at least, 250, 000 Nigerians. This, he said, has also led to economic sabotage.
Dandote acknowledged that negative activities made 2018 a challenging year for the company.
He identified the influx of smuggled sugar into key markets nationwide as one of such negative activities.
According to him, Apapa gridlock also affected the evacuation of products from the refinery and constrained logistics operations, distribution, and delivery to customers.
He said the performance of Savannah Sugar Company was impacted by communal clashes between the host community and herdsmen.
The industrialist said the situation led to the closure of the company for more than three months.
The business mogul said despite the challenges, the company continued to post resilient performance.
He disclosed that the company achieved a Group Turnover of N150.4 billion, a 26 per cent decrease over N204.4 billion posted in 2017. According to him, a profit before tax of N34.6 billion, and a profit after tax of N22 billion.
He disclosed that the Board recommended and shareholders ratified the payment of a total dividend of N13.2 billion, being N1.10 per ordinary share of 50 kobo for the year ended December 31, 2018.
Chief Operating Officer, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Ravindra Singhvi, said the future outlook for the company is to continue to leverage on its strength and that the company would maximise opportunity to generate sales, increase market share and create sustainable value for all stakeholders.
Singhvi said although the terrain remains challenging, the company was committed to rapidly adapting to market changes and employ numerous levers to mitigate major effects on performance in the years ahead.