Flour Mills of Nigeria expands investment in Nigeria’s sugar industry as Shell Nigeria ventures into cassava processing

NIGERIA – Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN), has announced the acquisition of 20,450 hectares of land in Nasarawa State, to boost the backward integration strategy (BIP) of the National Sugar Master Plan, as leading energy company, Shell Nigeria, inaugurates a multi-billion-naira cassava processing facility in Rivers State.

The move by the integrated food business and agro-allied company, FMN, is part of its commitment to the overall growth strategy of the sugar industry in the country.

This follows the company’s recent acquisition of an additional 5,200 hectares of land in Sunti Golden Sugar Estates located in Mokwa, Niger state, bringing the total land size of its sugar milling subsidiary, Sunti Golden Sugar Estate to 22,000 hectares, with about 15,000 hectares under cane.

“As part of our contribution to the backward integration strategy of the National Sugar Master Plan, we are expanding our investments in the Backward Integration Plan (BIP) with the acquisition of 20,450 hectares of land in Nasarawa State.”

Group Managing Director/CEO of FMN – Mr Omoboyede Olusanya

According to the Group Managing Director/CEO of FMN, Mr Omoboyede Olusanya, since 1978, with the acquisition of a 10,000-hectare farm in Kaboji, Niger state, FMN has continued to demonstrate its commitment to harnessing the nation’s resources.

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“Following in that rich tradition, we are today witnessing another noteworthy contribution to ensure Nigeria’s food security by expanding our commitment to the development of the sugar value chain.

“As part of our contribution to the backward integration strategy of the National Sugar Master Plan, we are expanding our investments in the Backward Integration Plan (BIP) with the acquisition of 20,450 hectares of land in Nasarawa State,” he stated.

The total projected cost of the company’s recent expansion drive is projected at about US$300 million, which includes the land acquisitions at both states and the construction of a new sugar mill at Nasarawa.

It is expected that land preparation, including, surveys and preliminary construction works will start immediately, in anticipation of the commencement of operations during the course of the year.

“As with our investments in Sunti, the Nasarawa BIP development plan will significantly benefit host and surrounding communities, who will be impacted by several community improvement projects including access roads, electrification projects, primary healthcare and educational facilities, and expanded job opportunities for the youth in particular,” highlighted Olusanya.

Shell inaugurates multi-billion-naira cassava processing company

Meanwhile, Shell Nigeria has opened doors to the newly built Rivers Cassava Processing Company Limited, constructed in partnership with the Rivers State Government, Vieux Manioc BV of the Netherlands, and the embassy of The Netherlands in Nigeria.

The company is aimed to support the economy and earning power of the Rivers State and its people through the cassava value chain, while utilising leading technology to process and create more value-added products from the household crop.

The cassava processing factory is a critical intervention to bridge the market gap, by providing a reliable offtake for farmers, given that Nigeria is the largest cassava producer globally, accounting for about 20 percent of total production worldwide.

Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, said, “We’re happy to deliver a project that is designed to provide the agricultural sector of Rivers State and the wider Niger Delta with a sustainable institutionalised off-take mechanism for regional cassava production.

“It is our hope that a steady source of supply will promote more production of cassava by farmers with the accompanying increase in household incomes and livelihoods ultimately unlocking revenue to government.”

The Rivers Cassava Processing Company Limited will process cassava into high quality cassava flour via a unique split processing technology.

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, revealed that the state government will reduce its holding in the company in the future to about 10% from the current 80%, to potential investors.

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