By Bassey Udo
To realise the objectives of the Federal Government’s backward integration policy in the sugar loopr sector, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (DSR) has continued to scale up its investment in raw sugar production in the country.
Apart of an investment valued at about $500million so far in the Nasarawa sugar production, the Group has also invested heavily in social intervention programmes around its host communities to give the people a sense of belonging in its operations.
Apart of the investment of about $500million so far in sugar production in Nasarawa State, the Group has also invested heavily in social intervention programmes around its host communities to give the people a sense of belonging in its operations.
The company’s host communities are in Adamawa and Nasarawa States where its Backward Integration projects are located in Numan and Tunga respectively.
The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) developed a road map for the realization of self-sufficiency in the sugar sector as part of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).
The company said with 78,000 hectares of farmland in Nasarawa state, and 32,000 hectares in Adamawa, it was creating thousands of employment opportunities for Nigerians.
Currently, the company said over 600 workers were being engaged, while 90 megawatts (MW) of electricity would be generated in the Dangote Sugar Project in Tunga, Nasarawa State.
The Dangote Group is reputed to be the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the federal government.
Speaking at a recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company, the Chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery, Aliko Dangote, said Nigeria could realise foreign exchange in excess of $700 million yearly from the BIP scheme.
Dangote however warned that the BIP scheme must be protected to insulate the Nigerian economy and create jobs.
“If the National Sugar Master Plan is followed strictly and the players follow the rules, the country will be better for it, as Nigeria will save between $600 million and $700 million annually as foreign exchange,” he said.
The company said when the factory becomes fully operational, it would have the capacity to crush 12,000 tons of cane per day,
Some of the Corporate Social Responsibility projects executed by the company include the provision of blocks of classrooms, scholarship, water scheme, rehabilitation and opening up of road network, and construction of health center, among others.
Minister for Industry, Trade, and Investment, Niyi Adebayo who was on a working tour of the Dangote’s expansive Savannah Sugar Company (SSCL) Ltd in Numan, Adamawa State, and the Tunga sugar project site in Nasarawa State, described the projects as “huge, impressive and amazing.”
It’s a very impressive sight. It’s amazing that such a project exists in this place. What we’ve seen so far from all the plantations we’ve been to is very impressive. We are impressed with the level of work they are doing,” the Minister said.
The company reported that in 2020, it constructed multi-million naira blocks of classrooms, administration blocks, and an examination hall.
Besides, the company said DSR Numan also intervened in the provision of electricity through the donation of 300KVA to the Gyawana Community, as well as donate a 27KVA generator to the Lamurde Community.
In addition,DSR Numan instituted an out-grower scheme in the state, with about 294 people benefiting.
Its intervention in the area of road infrastructure, the company said, was huge, including the rehabilitation of the Gyawana-Lamurde road, Gyawana-Zekun road, Gyawana Township road, the rehabilitation of Dubwangun road, and the rehabilitation of Opalo-Zekun roads, among others.
Other intervention activities included financial support to youth, religion, and development-based groups in Adamawa State.