NIGERIA – Nigeria’s sugar sub-sector attracted investments worth US$3 billion in the last 10 years after a successful implementation of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

The Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, said that the sector has five investors who have signed into the backward integration programme component of the master plan.

The companies are Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Sugar Refinery, Golden Sugar Refinery, KIA Africa Group, and the latest is Saro Africa Group.

During the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Saro Africa Group and the Nasarawa State government for a sugar project to be domiciled in Doma and Nasarawa Council of the state, Mr.Adedeji explained that the sector, through the BIP operators, has provided job opportunities for thousands of people.

Saro Africa Group is a Lagos-based diversified company that operates in several industries, including agriculture, engineering, and real estate.

The company said the project will sit on 15,000 hectares of land for the first phase and other phases would follow in due course.

Mr. Adedeji said the MoU signing ceremony between Saro and Nasarawa State has further underscored the confidence President Muhammadu Buhari has in the sector, which led to the extension of the master plan by another 10 years, beginning from 2023 to 2033 known as the NSMP Phase 2.

NSMP has four major objectives which are for Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in sugar production, stem the rising tide of sugar importation, create job opportunities for Nigerians, and the generation of electricity and production of ethanol for industrial purposes.

Recently, the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, announced that the Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc is significantly scaling up its investment in the sugar sub-sector in line with the requirement of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

Dangote said the company is making massive investments in Adamawa State through the expansion of DSR Numan sugar refining capacity from 3,000 tonnes of cane per day (tcd) to 6,000 tcd, 9,800 tcd, to 15,000 tcd.

Noting that increasing the sugar refining capacity will require a corresponding increase in sugarcane production capacity, Mr. Dangote revealed that the company has concluded plans to increase its sugar plantation from the current land area under cane production of about 8,700 hectares in 2022 to about 24,200 hectares within the next seven years.

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