By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos |
Flourmills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc, has promised to assist the country attain sugar sufficiency.
To this end, it promised to boost its backward integration programme to achieve this.
The deputy general manager, Golden Sugar Company, John Maniatis stated this during the visit of the members of National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) to Golden Sugar Company, a subsidiary of FMN, Lagos, at the weekend.
Maniatis reaffirmed the Company’s commitment to the development of sugar value chain in Nigeria and in line with the federal government backward integration policy.
He stated that with an installed capacity to process 750,000 tonnes of sugar production per annum, the company is poised to take advantage of the backward integration programme.
Also, the deputy Chief Operating Officer, Agro-allied Division/Director Backward Integration Program (FMN), Sadiq Usman, stated that the Company has gone far with its Backward Integration Programme (BIP), which was signed through its subsidiary Golden sugar in 2013.
According to him, we have developed and identified a piece of land and we have added sugar production to our chain, through the commissioning of its Sunti Golden Sugar Estate in Niger State. The facility will produce a 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar annually and is expected to create about 10,000 jobs.
“We have developed a total of 3,000 hectors of land, built sugar mills, sugar estate and we have invested over N65 billion and another $200 million in the refinery here in Lagos.”
Usman noted further that Flour Mill target under the Backward Integration Programme (BIP), 250,000 tonnes between its two sites, the Niger state and in Nasarawa State, where we are also in the process of concluding arrangement to acquire another piece of land. From Golden sugar perspective, we have a commitment of another 250,000 tonnes of sugar per annual.
While, the executive secretary, National Sugar Development Council, Mr Zacch Adedeji, said that “The reason we are here is to ensure we implement the sugar master plan, in fulfilling the job employment that is part of the master plan and to also ensure that our investors have returns on their investment
He stated that “We will collaborate with the industry stakeholders to make sure we achieve the aim of sugar self-sufficiency the country yearns for.”
Adedeji said that “The country has stopped importation of refined sugar, what we import is raw material and refined it 100 per cent locally. Right now, we need to move ahead, move from importing the raw sugar to growing cane which is the only way we can meet the desire of the master plan and generate employment for the nation.”