By BLAISE UDUNZE
The President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has diclosed that the sugar arm of his company will invest over $600 million in the production of sugarcane in Kebbi, Kwara and Sokoto states. Dangote made this known during a visit to the Governor of Kwara State, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed, where he expressed satisfaction with the government’s effort at revolutionising agriculture in the state.
According to him, his company intends to replicate what it did in the cement industry by targeting about 65 million tonnes of sugar, which he said could produce about one million jobs for the people. Dangote emphasized that in the next five years; the company would produce and grow two million tonnes of sugar, as part of efforts to ensure that Nigeria is self-sufficient in consumables instead of depending on importation.
He said Nigeria was wasting quite a lot of money in the importation of about two million tons of sugar, adding that the company has identified Patigi local government area of the state for sugarcane plantation. Dangote further expressed hope that by cooperating with people and Kwara state government, the project would take-off before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed had pledged that his administration was committed to working with investors in bid to transform the economic lives of the people. Ahmed also gave the assurance that his administration would create enabling environment for would-be investors to operate coupled with adequate security for the growth of the economy. He noted that Nigeria would never get it wrong if it invests in agriculture as the northern part of the country was endowed with arable soil which could be utilized for agriculture as a foreign exchange earner for the nation.
It would be recalled that Dangote group recently announced plans to invest about $8 billion to build a 400,000 bpd capacity oil refinery in Nigeria by 2016, saying that sub-Saharan Africa need investments in this area. According to projection, if completed, this will double Nigeria’s current refining capacity. “This will really help not only Nigeria but sub-Saharan Africa.
There has not been a new refinery for a long time in sub-Saharan Africa.” The country currently has the capacity to produce some 445,000 barrels per day among four refineries, but they operate well below that owing to decades of mismanagement and corruption in Africa’s leading energy producer. Nigeria, the continent’s second-biggest economy, relies on subsidised imports for 80 per cent of its fuel needs.http://sunnewsonline.com