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).