Flour Mills makes history with Nigeria’s largest agro-allied investments
• Invests N95bn in sugar mill, refinery
History was made when Sunti Golden Sugar Estate commenced sugar production, this week, from its new N45 billion Sugar Mill near Mokwa, Niger State, in one of only two sugar mills in the country capable of producing crystalised sugar from locally grown sugar cane.
This bold initiative, according to a statement yesterday from the Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN Plc), owners of the sugar estate, is in response to the Federal Government drive to diversify the economy through backward integration.
Located on the bank of the Niger River, the huge project ranks among the largest agro-allied investments the country has seen to date and is expected to create thousands of jobs in the sector.
The release said Sunti Golden Sugar estate comprises of over 20 000ha of irrigable farm land and a giant sugar factory using latest technologies to mill up to 4 500 metric tons of sugar cane per day.
Flour Mills of Nigeria is one of the biggest producers of sugar in the country and according to the statement; it has already invested N50 billion in a state-of-the-art sugar refinery in Apapa capable of refining up 2 000mt of sugar per day. In order to reduce dependence on imported sugar the Government introduced the National Sugar Master Plan, which encouraged the company to invest in this Backward Integration programme at Sunti Golden Sugar. This first stage of the Group’s investment in local sugar production will produce over 100 000mt of sugar, create over 25 000 new jobs, generate 10MW of excess electricity, produce animal feeds and fertiliser from the sugar molasses byproducts and save over USD50 million in foreign exchange for the Nation.
The project has received strong backing from Government through the National Sugar Development Council and has been partly financed with a N25 billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria at subsidised interest rate. The Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, visited the sugar project last week and said that.
‘This project marks the success story of President Muhammadu Buhari’s aggressiveness towards ensuring that we diversify our country away from oil into non-oil driven economy. A project like this is an indication that Nigeria is working’.