The House of Representatives Committee On Industry, Trade and Investment has commended the management of Dangote Sugar Refinery on its remarkable progress towards ensuring the success of the sugar backward integration project in the sugar sector of the economy
The Committee Chairman, Hon. Abubakar Moriki, who led the team to the Dangote Sugar Refinery in Lagos over the weekend, expressed satisfaction at the level of the backward integration programme, the company has been able to achieve.
Moriki also assured the company of a friendly policy, especially in land acquisition, which is geared towards self-sufficiency of sugar in 2020.
He said: “We are aware for a sugar business to succeed, there has to be substantial mass land acquisition for the sugar cane to be planted. We will look at this challenges and others that is affecting the industry.”
“We have the responsibility as the members of the House of Assembly Committee on Industry to oversee the Federal Ministry of industry, Trade and Investment and alongside the agencies, which the National Sugar Development Council is one of them, being the regulatory agency solely with the responsibility to see to the implementation of national sugar policy globally and to come out with all implementation strategies to make us realized sugar self-sufficiency after certain period of time.
“We are here to see what extent has the policy of National Sugar impacted on you as a player in the industry and whether there are some amendments to make the implementation smoother and faster.
“We have visited the production site at the Savannah Sugar Company, Numan, Adamawa State, which is a typical backward integration starting point where we saw how the sugar cane was produced, the collaboration you have with the host community in terms of the Out Growers Scheme and job creation.
“We are happy at the development seen in Numan, which portrays a successful privatization. The company was sold to Dangote in 2003, it was sold as a moribund, but during our visit there the company is back on its feet with about 12,000 hectare of land put into cultivation of sugar cane.”
Moriki rasked Dangote Sugar to ensure maximal capacity utilization as much as possible to be able to refine sugar here for the mean time and to be able to have mechanism to produce sugar also in the factory.
Speaking, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery, Abdullahi Sule, said Nigeria is one of the world’s largest net importer of sugar, consuming significant amount of foreign exchange.
Sule noted that Dangote Sugar Master Plan was to ensure five large sugar factories, 150,000 Ha of land under cultivation, 1.5 to 2.0 million MT/PA of refined sugar from locally grown sugarcane per annual and to generate over 100,000 jobs among others.
He pointed out that Dangote Industries Limited acquired Savannah Sugar in 2003 and Dangote Sugar been a subsidiary of Dangote Industries acquired 95 per cent stake in Savannah Sugar in December 2012, and have invested over N33.05 billion.
He added that at the end of the rehabilitation exercise Savannah Sugar will increase its sugar production to 260,000 MT per annual of refined sugar from 26,500ha cultivated land, at 12,000TCD daily, 190 days crop length, increase factory from 3,000TCD to 6,000TCD and install a 12000TCD diffuser factory, employ about 15,000 direct and indirect (seasonal) employees, produce 10MW power for export during crop, 18,000,000 liter per annum fuel ethanol and 10,000 MT per annum Animal feed from the by-products.
Sule said that some of the challenges facing the industry are government policies, lack of infrastructures, stringent financing, huge investment, lack of forex among others.