Dangote Group is set to build a N148 billion ($450m) Sugar factory in Niger State.
The Group has been in talks with the State government and the host communities of Jima-Nupeko villages in Lavun and Mokwa local government areas of the state for the establishment of the sugar plant for about a year now and the construction of the factory is about to commence.
Preparatory to the take-off was a meeting yesterday, between the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, represented by his deputy, Ahmad Muhammad. Ketso, and officials of Dangote Group and representatives of the host community for the proposed Sugar factory. The crucial meeting was held at the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar ‘s Wadata Palace in Bida.
Findings revealed that the meeting was aimed at discussing and harmonizing the interest shown by Dangote Industries Limited to acquire 16,000 hectares of land for sugar cane farming and sugar production in the two local government areas within Etsu Nupe’s domain.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, the deputy governor, who stood in for the Niger State governor said that one of the means of creating job opportunities by the administration in the state was by encouraging investors and development partners to invest in the vast agricultural potentials of the state.
He challenged potential investors in agriculture and agro-allied industry to cash in on the state’s comparative advantage and various economic incentives offered by the government to invest in the sector in the state.
Meanwhile, the meeting had set up a technical committee to study and harmonise all issues that will engender successful take-off of the sugar factory and report back within six weeks, while the office of the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice was directed to prepare a memorandum of understanding (MOU) before the next meeting.
The head of Human Resource and Administration, Sugar Refinery of Dangote Group, Murtala Zubairu commended the approach of the state government for the successful take off of the multi-billion naira project which will be in phases, and will be kick started in few months with the take off of the sugar cane plantation.
Zubairu assured the government and people of the state that Dangote Group is a socially responsible entity and promised that the company will not renege on its responsibilities to the host community and the state in general.
From the preliminary plan, the sugar cane farming and the sugar factory, when in place, will provide 2,200 direct jobs, 5,300 in-direct jobs, while the plant is expected to produce 1,100 tonnes of sugar annually. The project will also produce ethanol, and generate 20 megawatts of power among others.
The state government has assured investors of conducive atmosphere for any investment made in the state.
Meanwhile, the federal government expects to earn a staggering $500 million from the Dangote Refinery presently under construction in Lekki Free Zone, Lagos state. The refinery is the biggest of its kind in the world with a capacity to refine 650, 000 barrels of oil per day. The project also is complemented by, petro-chemical, fertilizer and gas plants.
Speaking during the inspection of the Refinery, in Lagos, yesterday, the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode noted that the Dangote Group’s decision to embark on the four significant projects that will have great multiplier effects on the growth and economy of Nigeria was aimed at boosting economic prosperity of the entire country.
Ambode said, “What this tells us is that Lagos is on an expansive growth both on the east and west sides of Lagos. There is nothing we can do as a government than to commend Alhaji Aliko Dangote and thoroughly support him.
“We are going to have a petro- chemical project that is coming up in 2017 ,and a refinery that will come upstream on the first quarter of 2019, then a the gas project that is coming upstream 2018. You can just visualize what that means to the economy of Lagos. Direct job created here is 135,000 people and indirect jobs 100,000 people. The income that will be generated to the federal government is over $500 million. This is from a single individual.”
Fielding questions from journalists shortly after undertaking the working visit to the Dangote Refinery, petro-chemical, fertilizer plants and gas plant, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the government was presently harnessing the potentials of the private sector to accelerate the growth of its economy.
“This is the largest industrial undertaking in Nigeria. There we have seen the refinery which is meant to refine 650, 000 barrels of oil per day which by all projection is the largest in the world. There is also a pipeline production plant here. I think it is an incredible industrial undertaking in the country and most ambitious in the continent today. It is really inspiring,” Osinbajo said.
For the president of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote the investor friendly policy of Lagos State informed his massive investments in the state. Dangote added that “This investment that we have by the time that we finish , especially the gas pipeline, a state like Lagos can run without any interruption of electricity power supply. It will be as good as living in London where you don’t see power outage. That is because we can supply power from here to anywhere . That means tripling the Gross Domestic Product of Lagos state and it will create a lot of economic activities.”
Dangote said he was optimistic that his huge investment will attract other investors to the zone. ProminentNigerians present at the event include: the chairman Forte Oil, Femi Otedola, minister Of Power Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola, minister of Solid Minerals Dr. Kayode Fayemi, minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun , minister Industry and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah.[Leadership]