The Dangote Group of Companies plans to invest N217 billion in the establishment of a sugar plantation in Nasarawa State.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the President of the group, disclosed this during a courtesy call on Governor Tanko Al-Makura in Lafia on Friday.
Dangote said the sugar plantation, to be located in Tunga in Awe Local Government Area, was planned to be the largest sugar plantation in West Africa.
He said the farm would create employment for not less than 30,000 people.
Dangote also said the plantation would create enabling environment for other industries to spring up in the state.
Dangote said: “This will create multiplicity of jobs and increase the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
“The employment, even for us as a company, will be over 30,000. We will do out- grower which will take another 10000 people.
“We will also give them the entire implement where their only contribution is their labour and that they will be given funds advances for their labour.”
Dangote said that the sugar plantation would not only produce sugar, but also electricity, which would go a long way in improving the socio-economic condition of residents.
He said: “There is no waste in sugar, so in a nut shell, we will be able to generate power of up to 96 megawatts.
“Over 50 megawatts will actually be distributed to the network.
“What we are trying to do is work with the distribution company here on how to equally improve power supply.”
Dangote advised Nigerians to go back to farming, adding that the country was originally an agrarian state.
He said: “We therefore need to focus more on agriculture to fight poverty and recession.
“Your Excellency, Nigeria is not an oil state as such. It is an agricultural state, people are forgetting that.
“The discovery of oil forced the authorities and people to dropped agriculture.
“Even people from the grassroots want to run to the city which is wrong.”
Dangote said the company would be requiring about 60 hectares of land for the project to take off.
Al-Makura said he was excited by the plan of Dangote group to build a sugar refinery in the state.
The governor said the government would perfect arrangement bordering on land allocation to ensure the project came to fruition.
Al-Makura said: “We are very lucky because with the construction of this sugar factory, Nasarawa state will be captured in the map of cities that engage in mass production of sugar in the world.
“It is in the interest of the good people of our state to jealously guide and guard this initiative when established.’’
Al-Makura urged other wealthy Nigerians to emulate Dangote’s humility and philanthropic spirit, adding that people must rise to develop the country.
He said: “You can see he is already talking about the welfare of the community where this project will be located. So you can see we are getting virtually everything from Dangote group at no cost.
“Due to the demand for speedy commencement of the project, the administration has approved a standard road network from Awe to Tunga for easy access to the project location.
“I am happy to say that the area is about 25 kilometres and work is ongoing and before the end of the year, it will be completed and ready for use.
“In addition, we are discussing with National Inland Water Authority to provide flying boats to ease transportation in the area.”
Al-Makura also said the state government would be responsible for the provision of security to ensure the protection of Dangote’s workers in the locality.
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