Dangote Sugar Refinery has set in motion a 10-year development plan that would result in a big jump in its production capacity and employment creation for more than 23,000 Nigerians
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jun. 9, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
DANGOTE Sugar Refinery has begun the implementation of its 10-year sugar development plan. The plan will enable to increase its production capacity from 1.5 million to 2.0 million metric tonnes per annum in the next five to 10 years. Aliko Dangote, chairman of the group, disclosed this at the company’s 8th Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos.
He said the development would further consolidate the company’s position as the largest sugar producer in the West African region. “This plan is pursuant to the introduction of the Federal Government’s National Sugar Master Plan in Nigeria and is targeted at the production by your company of 1.5million to 2.0 million metric tonnes of sugar per annum from locally grown sugar cane within the next five to 10 years,” he said.
Dangote explained that the company had taken great care in the preparation of the sugar development plan with its operations being structured to include an increased focus on the company’s backward integration project. He said that the sugar refinery has a robust growth agenda driven by the backward integration development plans. “As we commence this journey, our priority remains to consolidate our clear leadership of the sugar industry in Nigeria. We will work to ensure ongoing operational efficiency to drive continued growth across our markets.”
The company’s shareholders at the meeting unanimously approved the payment of N7.2 billion dividend, which translated to 60 kobo per share earlier recommended by the board of directors. Some of the shareholders commended the board and management for the positive performance recorded in the 2013 financial year and the dividend of N7.2 billion recommended for payment.
In another development, Dangote said the company would invest $250 million in the sugar factory acquired by his company in Jigawa State. He said the sugar company would start operation in September 2014 with more than 20,000 hectares of land that has the capacity to grow over 150,000 metric tonnes of sugar each year. “We are hoping to commence work in the factory this September because production of sugar is a seasonal business and the season is quite short, we also hope to include offshore industries like milk diary factory and poultry farming. We are also going to pay compensations to the owners of the lands which we hope to use for the farming of sugarcane; we are only waiting for the state government to value the lands then we will pay the farmers and most of the beneficiaries will be among the 10,000 farmers to be engaged for farming sugarcane, he said.
The business mogul further disclosed that they intend to use the waste and by products from sugarcanes to produce ethanol which can be used for vehicles, fertilizers and animal feeds. That, in turn, will further create economic activities for the people of the area. Dangote explained that altogether, 23,000 indigenes of the state would be employed, out of which 13,000 persons would be conventional workers while the remaining 10,000 would be farmers that would be engaged in the farming of sugarcane.