Niger State Government and Dangote Sugar sign MOU for the establishment of an integrated sugar project in the State

The Signing ceremony for the MOU between the Niger State Government and Dangote Sugar for the establishment of an integrated sugar project in the State was held amidst fanfare at the Government House Auditorium on Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Alh. Aliyu A. Bisalla, represented the Honourable Ministers of the Ministry while Mr Mohammed Jika, Director Technical Services and Chris Mbamalu Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary witnessed the event for the Sugar Council.

The sugar project from which will be located around or near Mambe, Lavun LGA of Niger State will cost US$450million for a 12,000TCD mill, on a 16,000ha land and which will generate 45MW electricity. Alh. Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, in his address at the event, expressed gratitude to the Niger State Government for its investment-friendly programmes and policies which had enabled the realisation of a project conceived since 2013. He noted that apart from empowerment of farmers (as sugarcane outgrowers) in the locality who will be engaged to produce at least 30% of sugarcane to be milled, the Group plans to establish a Rice project to produce 200,000MT Rice paddy/day in the State. The Sugar project is part of the grand design of the Dangote Sugar to produce 1.5million MT of sugar under the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan being implemented to make Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production. It will be fourth sugar project of Dangote Sugar after the Savannah Sugar Company, Numan Adamawa State, Lau/Tau Sugar Taraba State and Tunga Sugar Project in Nasarawa State.

The Dangote Group wants to replicate the success it championed in the Backward Integration Programme for Cement production in Nigeria. Other industrial activities the Group is engaged in were mentioned. They include: Largest Crude Oil Refinery with ancillary Petrochemical and Fertilizer production facilities. The fertilizer plant will make Nigeria self-sufficient in fertilizer production.

The State Governor, Alh. Sanni Bello, commended the Dangote Group for choosing Niger State to site two gigantic projects – Sugar and Rice production facilities. He observed the MOU Signing ceremony was a welcome outcome from the Niger State Investment Summit which was held just over a week ago. He expressed the readiness of his administration to open the state to other investors noting that establishment of a Free Trade Zone in Babanna area which had long being proposed will be revived to exploit the potentials for Cotton, Sesame and Rice cultivation.

The Permanent Secretary in his remarks congratulated the State Government and the Dangote Group for the MOU and noted the sugar project aligns with the FGN’s Industrial Revolution Plan designed to facilitate food-security in Nigeria. Others who made remarks at the event included the State Deputy Governor (who heads the Committee that negotiated the MOU), the State Attorney-General and the Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council Niger State, HRH Etsu Nupe.

The highlight of the ceremony was the formal signing of the MOU by HE. Alh Sanni Bello (for Niger State) and Alh. Aliko Dangote (for Dangote Group).

National Sugar Development Council participates at the AFRICAN SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SME) EXPO

Following the Federal Government’s determination to energize, empower and restructure the operations of Nigerian SME to function in a systematic value chain that can ultimately produce very high capacity output capable of generating substantial export revenue, the African SME Expo was structured to provide the needed environment as well as the technical support and goodwill to effectively encourage the networking of businesses and trade groups between Nigeria and their international business partners. The African Expo took place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos from 15th -18th August 2017. Participants at the Expo were cut across Africa, Asia as well as other Continents of the world.

OFFICIAL SIGNING CEREMONY OF M.O.U BETWEEN ONDO STATE GOVERNMENT AND COCASET COMPANY LIMITED FOR FLOATING A SUGAR COMPANY

The Memorandum of understanding for signing ceremony between Ondo State Government and COCASET Company Limited took place on the 15th of August, 2017 at the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka Akure in Ondo State.

Brief presentation on the development of the Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) between the 2 stakeholders was conducted by the Secretary to the State government on Public Private Partnership (PPP) Barrister O. Emanuel who stated that the assignment was based on the directives of the state governor (who assigned the committee) to confirm all the activities of COCASET project before evolving M.O.U with the state. Following the findings of the committee, it was confirmed that all the host communities have agreed to release 1,250ha of land at Oma Village in Ikaro. The outgrowers have also made arrangement to engage their members for cane production. He explained that the investment on machinery/equipment was also finalized with the co-financiers based on the M.O.U agreement that 20% equity should be provided by the promoter. Following this progress recorded the state government have introduced COCASET to FCMB to provide the funds (for working capital for the project) against local Bank guaranty from the co-financial Bank. Thereafter the funds will be released for 100% confirmed letter of credit for the machinery including funds for factory management, consultancy and training of operators. This action will be effected immediately the equity contribution is presented to the financiers.

Brief remarks on progress made so far by COCASET was delivered by Chairman COCASET Nig. L.t.d. Mr. Adetoye Segun who explained that an M.O.U with co-financiers Messrs Broad Spectrum L.t.d Abuja has been signed. Based on this development Broad Spectrum has been introduced to ASHOKA Machine Tools India. In addition, COCASET has signed a 2 years factory operation management and personnel training management agreement with the manufacturers. He appreciated the sincerity and keen interest of the state government towards partnering with COCASET on the project. He commended the great effort and long term support of NSDC and recent approval of 200 tonnes of seed cane to the Company for onward multiplication. He called on all stakeholders to fully cooperate for the successful implementation of the project.

Brief on benefits to be derived from the project was delivered by the representative to NSDC and Zonal Coordinator NSDC Zonal Office Ilorin, Mr. Balarabe Ladan. He enumerated the mission and vision of the NSDC and stated that sugar factory is next to textile in employment of labour. He urged the stakeholders to put more effort at ensuring speedy installation of the factory and NSDC will support the project based on the guidelines stipulated in the NSMP. He thanked the state government for their sincere support to the project. He also presented copies of NSDC publications to the executive governor and his cabinet members present.

In his welcome Address the Executive Governor Akeredolu Oluwa Rotimi expressed joy to witness the signing ceremony particularly the cooperation demonstrated of all stakeholders i.e. the host communities, the co-financiers, the state government and COCASET. He called on the stakeholders to put more at ensuring successful commissioning of the project comes November 2019.

Visit of the Implementation team of enabling business environment secretariat (EBES) to the Council

As a follow-up to the Focus Workshop on the implementation of Executive Order 001, 2017 organised for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA), the Implementation Team from the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) visited the Council on Tuesday August 8th, 2017 to conduct strategy session with the Council’s Operationalization Committee and the entire Management and Staff of the Council to discuss the Implementation of the Council’s operationalization plan. The focus of discussion by the team was the three checklists for the plan which includes; Service Level Agreement (SLA), Customer Interface Mechanism, and Communication Strategy.

FG, Sugar Refinery Operators Sign Revised Edition of Backward Integration Programme (BIP)

The Federal Government and representatives of major sugar refineries in Nigeria today signed the revised edition of the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) for the sector in Abuja.

The revised BIP plan which is expected to run for five years, contains strategies, plans and programmes that would ensure as well as fast-track the attainment of the BIP component of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

Speaking today at the Signing Ceremony, the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah lauded the idea, stressing that it will guide government and other stakeholders in the sugar sector on the steps to take in achieving quicker results in the sector.

Dr. Enemalah who stressed the need for the BIP Operators to remain committed to the guidelines contained in the revised edition of the BIP, urged them to be transparent and sincere with regards to the provisions of the BIP.

In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Latif D. Busari, said the BIP of the refineries remains a major strategy for achieving the objectives of the NSMP, adding that government will ensure that the new guidelines for BIP Operators which have been circulated are adhered to.

Dr. Busari said, “It is in this this regard that I am appealing to all MDAs, (especially members of the SURMIC) whose monitoring and other regulatory statutory functions impact on the NSMP, for their support and cooperation in the tasks ahead”.

On how to ensure compliance, Dr. Busari said, “The Sugar Council has already developed monitoring templates for the next phase of the NSMP. These templates will be made available to SURMIC and the Sugar Industry Monitoring Group (SIMOG), to facilitate their monitoring functions and keep pace with developments at the BIP sites”.

Speaking on behalf of the BIP Operators, the Managing Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Engr.  Abdullahi A. Sule while commending the idea, called on the Federal Government to address challenges such as community hostilities and lack of access to land which according to him are capable of stalling progress in the sugar sector.

He pledged the support and cooperation of other BIP Operators, and assured that they will comply with all the guidelines contained in the revised edition.

 

Dr. Enelamah Lauds Busari’s Commitment to Work

…..He pushes me to work harder

The Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah says the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Latif D. Busari is one of his lieutenants “in whom I have tremendous confidence in”, adding that, Dr. Busari’s attitude to work is “exemplary and worthy of emulation”.

Dr. Enelamah said the NSDC under Dr. Busari’s leadership is on the path of progress and has introduced a number of brilliant policies capable of turning the fortunes of the nation’s sugar industry around.

The Minister gave this commendation at the Signing Ceremony of the Revised edition of the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) plans for sugar refineries as part of efforts to guarantee the attainment of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) goals.

He said, “I am quite pleased with the Executive Secretary of Sugar Council. He has indeed demonstrated rare commitment and excellence in his handling of the affairs of this agency. He pushes me to work. Dr. Busari is one of my lieutenants who are so committed to the vision and programmes of this administration”, he noted.

“He is one of the members of my team that ensures I act quickly on files. Once I receive files from him, I often make haste to forward them to the Villa for Mr. President’s attention, knowing that Dr. Busari would be on my neck. He is doing very well. I urge other Chief Executives to emulate his leadership style”.