Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is to commit $700 million to boost sugar production in Nigeria.
Dangote on Tuesday announced that the Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) PLC., was scaling up its investment in the sugar sub-sector in line with the requirement of the Nigeria Sugar Master plan (NSMP).
Speaking at the flag off of the 2022/2023 Crushing Season and Outgrower Scheme Awards in Numan, Adamawa State, Dangote said: “We are thus committing over $700 million to our investment in the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) to enable us to put in place needed infrastructure for the eventual commencement of full-scale production.”
He assured them that Dangote Sugar will change the trajectory by making Nigeria self-sufficient in the sector.
Already, the company noted that it had spent billions of naira in developing infrastructure facilities for host communities.
Dangote said the company was making massive investments in Adamawa State through the expansion of DSR Numan sugar refining capacity from 3,000 tons of cane per day (tcd) to 6,000 tcd, 9,800 tcd and to 15,000 tcd.
He noted that increasing the sugar refining capacity would require a corresponding increase in sugarcane production capacity.
Dangote disclosed that the company had concluded plans to increase its sugar plantation from the current land area under cane production of about 8,700 hectares in 2022 to about 24,200 hectares within the next 7 years.
He also assured the people that the company would double its scholarship and empowerment schemes in its host communities.
“We will continue to introduce more initiatives to support our host communities. Through these initiatives and our numerous Corporate Social Responsibility activities which are numerous to mention, DSR Numan will be able to touch the lives of the people, bringing social, economic, and infrastructural development to our host communities,” he said.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, described the Dangote Refinery as the biggest contributor to the sugar development stride of the Federal Government.
The minister said agencies under his ministry would partner the company to provide the technical know-how that would support the Dangote empowerment schemes in the host communities.
In the same vein, Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State, who was represented by his Deputy, Crowther Seth, said he was amazed by the socio-economic transformation carried out by the Dangote Group.
He assured them of the state’s support and enjoined other corporate bodies to imbibe Dangote’s spirit of job creation across the country.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, Hama Bachama, Dr Daniel Shaga Ismail, described Dangote as Godsend and pledged that his people would continue to support the company.
Dangote further announced a free education for all the students of Dangote Sugar Refinery High School, among other scholarship winners announced.
The overall best outgrower farmer, Christiana Rufus, thanked the company and promised not to relent in her effort.
Six farmers mostly women emerged as overall best farmers in the contest.