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Dangote deepens backward integration in sugar, seals N166b pact with Niger State

Basking on the euphoria of the tremendous success achieved in cement backward integration few years ago, Dangote Group has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Niger State Government to drive similar feat in sugar production.

The agreement was in favour of establishing a ($450m) N166-billion state-of–art and fully integrated sugar complex in the state.

Business Hilights recalls that Niger State remains the state with massive capacity to grow sugarcane in Nigeria.

Dangote, it could be recalled began sugar business since 1981 and had pumped over N38billion into the Savannah Sugar Company Limited, which it acquired from government in 2003. Savannah Sugar this year alone, produced 20,000MT of raw sugar from its plantation.

President of the Group, Aliko Dangote, in a statement said the scheme on delivery will among other things, generate over 15,000 jobs in the State, and bring about a complete economic turn-around in the sub-sector.

The $450million MoU which was signed at the Government House in Minna, will see the company producing raw sugarcane on 16,000 hectares of land at Lavun Local Government Area, through an out-grower scheme.

It would be recalled that currently, Dangote Group is driving out-grower scheme in Rice production in a number of states, has the Africa’s largest sugar refinery in Lagos, and a sugar cane plantation in Numan, Adamawa State.

Before now, the African leading investor has been stressing that his Company’s firm belief in the potential of the Nigerian economy, has been the pivot of his observed massive investment in several sectors.

While commending the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, for his foresight in encouraging investors to Niger State, Dangote averred that “The Dangote’s Integrated Sugar Project in Niger State will also include the establishment of integrated sugar mills, generate power, produce molasses, ethanol fuel, biomass and produce animal feeds”.

Earlier in his remarks, Bello who described Dangote as a dependable partner, noted that the deal will further revolutionise agriculture in his state and Nigeria.

In his goodwill message, Chairman of the Niger State Council of Traditional and Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Abubakar Yahyah, expressed confidence on the emerging investment will change the development narrative of the state.

Also, the Group’s Executive Director, Stakeholders’ Management and Corporate Communication, Ahmed Mansur, announced that the Group was investing over $1billion in the agricultural sector in Nigeria, specifically in rice, sugar, tomato, and dairy productions.

The state Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, Rahmatu Muhammad Yar’Adua, who worked hard in brokering the deal on behalf of the state with Dangote Group said the new partnership will among other things, grow the agricultural sector, and create direct and indirect jobs in the state.

Commenting shortly after the deal was sealed, Group Managing Director, Dangote Sugar Plc, Abdullahi Sule, said the MoU would be a Game Changer for Niger State economy, and Nigeria as a whole, revealing that the integrated sugar mills will have the capacity to produce 160,000 metric tonnes (MT), of raw sugar, pointing out that the Group has been in the forefront of supporting government’s industrialisation programmes through backward integration policy in agriculture.

He said Dangote Sugar Refinery is developing a sugar backward integration plan through the production of 1.5MT/PA in 10 years in: Nasarawa, Adamawa, Kogi, Kwara, Taraba, and Niger states respectively.