NIGERIA – In line with Nigeria’s National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), BUA Group, a leading food and infrastructure conglomerate has invested over US$ 300 million in Lafiagi Sugar Company (LASUCO) in Kwara State, which is in an advanced stage to completion.
This was revealed by the company’s management to Arise News during a media tour, highlighting that the facility is expected to commence operation in the first quarter of 2022.
LASUCO, a first of its kind in Nigeria, is an integrated milling factory that will comprise of a 20,000-ha sugar plantation, a 10,000tcd sugar mill, a 220,000mtpa sugar refinery, 20,000,000litres per annum ethanol plant, and a 35-megawatt power plant that will be integrated into the national grid.
The aim of the investment is to provide Nigerians with cheaper alternatives from imported sugar with O’tega Ogra, BUA Group Head Corporate Communications saying, “At BUA we are very committed to ensuring that Nigerian’s can get the benefits of the National Sugar Master Plan.”
Senior General Manager, Lafiagi Company, Abdularasheed Olayiwalo reiterated saying, “The Federal government of Nigeria have developed the Sugar Master Plan to ensure that we stop the importation of raw sugar into the country and BUA Group as a whole has skied into that program and that is why we are setting put this facility in Lafiagi.”
Nigeria’s National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) introduced in 2012 was designed to attract over US$1 billion annually in local and foreign direct investments and create an estimated 107,000 jobs over the first ten-year period.
Its aim is to raise local production of sugar to enable the country attain self-sufficiency; stem the tide of unbridled importation; create huge number of job opportunities and to contribute to the production of ethanol and generation of electricity.
Therefore, in order to achieve this, it estimated that the country would need to establish some 28 sugar factories of varying capacities and bring about 250,000 hectares of land into sugarcane cultivation, over the next 10 years.
“The Federal government of Nigeria have developed the Sugar Master Plan to ensure that we stop the importation of raw sugar into the country and BUA Group as a whole has skied into that program and that is why we are setting put this facility in Lafiagi.”Senior General Manager, Lafiagi Company – Abdularasheed Olayiwalo
The bulk of this investment is expected to come from private investors and mandates sugar companies to invest in sugar farming and increasingly use locally produced extracts for their refineries, a process called backward integration.
BUA Group’s recent invest is in line with the plan and upon completion it will create 5,000 direct employment opportunities and 10,000 indirect jobs, mostly benefiting the immediate community members.
The design of the plant will have minimal impact on the environment as adequate arrangements have been made for the recycling of waste or proper disposal.
The BUA company currently has a sugar refinery capacity of 1.5 million MT from its Lagos and Port Harcourt facilities and targets an increase to 1.7 million MT when the new factory becomes fully operational.
Other than venturing into sugar production, the company has also boosted investment in the grain industry, as it is currently installing a new pasta processing plant with a capacity of 720 tons per day and a flour milling plant with a total milling capacity of 2,400 tons per day. Both are expected to be completed this year.
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