By OLUSHOLA BELLO, And Abu Nmodu
In another bold move for self-sufficiency in sugar production through the government’s backward integration policy, the Pan African Conglomerate, Dangote Group yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Niger State government for the establishment of a N166 billion state-of–art and fully integrated sugar complex.
On completion according to the president of the Group, Aliko Dangote, the project will generate over 15,000 jobs in the State and bring about a complete economic turn-around for the state. The $450 million pact which was signed in Minna, Niger State will see the company producing raw sugarcane on 16,000 hectares of land at Lavun Local Government through an out-grower scheme.
The Company, which is currently operating 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. Dangote said his investment was informed by his Company’s firm belief in the potentials of the Nigerian economy, adding that the new outlay will add value and create jobs for Nigerians.
He commended the state Governor, Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello for his foresight and efforts to woo investors to Niger State noting, “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.”
In his remarks, Governor Bello said the deal will revolutionise agriculture in his state and Nigeria. Expressing joy that the MoU was signed during his own administration, he described Dangote as the liberator of the Nigerian economy and a dependable partner.
The Governor urged Dangote Group to explore other investment opportunities available in the state, just as he announced that the state was opened for multi-sectoral investments. Representative of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Alhaji Aminu Bisala said Dangote is the biggest private sector supporter of the Nigerian economy, and Federal Government policies.
He said the federal government was comfortable with the numerous investments efforts of the Dangote Group.
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