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VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria’ Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has commended the country’s No.1 sugar refinery, Dangote Sugar Refinery for making a headway on its sugar backward integration project.
Dangote’s sugar backward integration project involved the acquisition of Savannah Sugar, a large-scale sugar cane plantation and processing company; an investment that cost the company over N12 billion ($72.1 million) in terms of infrastructure and human resources
While inspecting the facilities on the plantation site according to the Nigeria’s Sugar Master Plan initiated in 2012, the Minister expressed his approval at the visible changes and progress made since Dangote Sugar took over
He applauded the company on its commitment towards achieving its goal of increasing sugar production to 1.5 million tons of sugar locally on a yearly basis which will supersede by just a little margin, Nigeria’s consumption of 1.1 million tons annually.
Responding to this, Dangote Sugar Managing Director, Graham Clark, stated that the company was already making preparations to begin activities at other sites, beginning with Lau and Tau in Taraba state, North-eastern Nigeria.
The Group’s founder, Aliko Dangote, had earlier stated at the launch of Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) that the country will cease to import sugar by 2018 through the company’s backward integration policy
Although the establishment of these factories will bring development to surrounding communities and create job opportunities, a ban on importation of sugar will position Dangote Sugar as the sole manufacturer and distributor of sugar in the country.
Although this might translate to market share monopoly, it also presents an opportunity for other investors to enter into Nigeria’s sugar market.