BUA Group to grow Nigeria’s sugar output to 1.2mt annually
Nigeria is set to attain self-sufficiency and become a major exporter of sugar in the next couple of months, as BUA Group yesterday, said it would invest $300 million in Lafiagi Sugar Company, LASUCO and grow the country’s sugar output to two million tonnes per annum from the plant.
The company, in a statement in Abuja, stated that apart from the investment, it had also acquired over 50 heavy state-of-the-art equipment to fast-track the development of the plantation and achieve its aim of producing 1.2 million tons per annum when fully developed.
Managing Director, BUA Sugar, Mr. Ibrahim Yaro, said BUA is serious and is ever ready to surprise Nigeria and Nigerians in its current efforts of becoming a mega local sugar producer and first sugar exporter in the country.
BUA Group according to Yaro, remains committed to partnering with the government in ensuring the success of the backward integration policy of the sugar industry as well as in its drive to resuscitate and develop other areas of the Nigerian agricultural sector.
He explained that BUA’s interest in the local production of raw sugar brought about the acquisition of LASUCO which he said has over 20,000 hectares of arable land, suitable for sugar cane plantation and is strategically located to serve the northern and southern markets of the country.
According to him, the 500 hectares earmarked for its nursery development in 2016 had been developed, adding that similarly, what is currently ongoing was the land clearing and development preparation for additional 5,000 hectares which would take the company through 2018.
He said, “We are focused, determined and vigorously marching forward to meet our set targets with the Sugar Council. LASUCO is targeting the production of 2million tons of sugar cane annually and this segment alone could produce over 4,000 jobs, while thousands of employment would be generated at plant and at an indirect level.
To this end, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, alongside the National Sugar Development Council commended BUA Group for the extensive work achieved on its Lafiagi sugar plantation, LASUCO – a backward integration site for BUA Group’s sugar subsidiary, BUA Sugar.
The statement said the Minister alongside officials of the National Sugar Development Council gave this commendation during a monitoring visit and tour of LASUCO sugar plantation and facilities, to ascertain the level of progress at the plantation.
Abubakar applauded the investments and extensive progress made on the plantation by the company and for its progress towards local production of sugar in the country.
She said, “We are indeed very satisfied with the current pace of work and commitment exhibited by BUA on its sugar plantation. We hope other sugar companies will emulate the proactive steps employed by BUA to achieving self-sufficiency in sugar production which will eventually translate to positive gains in Nigeria’s efforts in becoming a sugar producing nation.”
Also speaking, Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council, Latif Busari, extolled the commitment of the company in attaining self-sufficiency in sugar production through its investments in the once moribund sugar company.
He encouraged the company not to relent on its efforts but continue to sustain its strategy to moving the country towards self-sufficiency in sugar in the shortest time possible.