Dangote champions sugar industrialization through massive capacity expansion campaign

There is no doubt that the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) roadmap requires strategic implementation, especially in partnership with the private sector, to foster self-sufficiency in sugar in Nigeria, as it is expected that strict compliance with the NSMP can save the country from spending. approximately $700 million in foreign currency.

Some experts have argued that the journey to achieve Nigeria’s sugar sufficiency is far from complete at the moment.

They claimed that the challenge of growing and processing sugarcane into finished products, which has been underutilized over the years in Nigeria, is responsible for the arguments in this regard.

Although the continued importance of raw sugar in the country has robbed Nigeria of more than $100 million in foreign exchange earnings annually, coupled with the loss of hundreds of thousands of job opportunities for the labor skilled and semi-skilled work resulting from the dependence on the import of sugar.

However, all of that is about to change now, as Nigeria’s drive for sugar self-sufficiency is about to gain momentum with the Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR).

Nasarawa Sugar Company

The Nasarawa Sugar Company Limited is one of the sugar refineries in Dangote that leverages the federal government’s backward integration to ensure sugar sufficiency in Nigeria.

The 78,000 hectare sugar project site at Tunga, Awe Local Government Area, Nasarawa State, is targeting a crushing capacity of 12,000 tonnes of cane per day (TCD) with 160,000 tonnes of cane, or 14,000 tonnes of sugar.
Agriculture Director Simon Ibbetson hinted to Tunga reporters during a tour of the project that the company will hopefully start sugar production in 2025.

“What we are doing at the moment is to inflate the canes, we are going to have 3000 hectares which will be ready to harvest in January 2025, when it comes back in there, we will put the other 3000 hectares and that be up to 6,000 by the end of 2025, so hopefully production will start in 2025, he said.
The sugarcane plantation also engages about 50 agricultural experts and 650 other farmers working in the field to carry out the project.
The farm currently has four pump distribution points fed by a station equipped with a capacity to deliver up to 648 kpa 368/s of water to irrigate the plantation on a 12 hour basis.
According to community relations officer, Saidu Mohammad, some of the local farmers within the host community have been trained in sugarcane management, preparing them in advance.
“At present, the construction of canals and pipelines for irrigation is underway and by 2024 a factory with a cruising capacity of 12,000 tons of cane per day will be put into operation with 160,000 tons of cane representing 14,000 tons of sugar,” Mohammad said.
In addition to sugar production, he added that more than 50 megawatts of electricity will be generated in the second phase with animal feed production in the third phase of development.
In the area of ​​corporate social responsibility, the company has built 10 solar-powered boreholes, construction of housing for staff of the primary health care center, renovation of the center, renovation of the government secondary school Tunga and a scholarship program for 200 students.
Confirming the development, the Emir of Tunga, Muhammad Ibrahim Shuaibu IV said, “The arrival of the Dangote sugar project has reduced unemployment significantly with the resulting results, it is a great achievement for me, once it says 6 o’clock, you will see them. in the troops going to the farms.
In the area of ​​development they have started a thing or two, the boreholes in the city are part of the social responsibility of the community, they have sponsored some of our young people from high school to tertiary and the scholarship program covers the whole of the local community. government with 200 beneficiaries”.
They helped to rebuild the housing of the health staff of the primary health care center and to renovate the secondary school classrooms”.

Savannah Sugar Company
Since February 2013, when Dangote Sugar Refinery, DSR, announced the acquisition of a 95% stake in Savannah Sugar Company Limited, Numan SSC, in a bid to maintain a major lead in the Nigerian sugar industry, the company which was once a shadow of itself with low sugar production capacity is gradually becoming one of the best sugar industries in West Africa.
This would be made possible thanks to the ongoing modernization of the sugar refinery, with the ultimate goal of 9,800 tons per day, where the factory does not even produce 2,000 tons per day at present.
The company has embarked on the project in accordance with the National Sugar Development Master Plan to increase local sugar production to achieve self-sufficiency and create job opportunities.
General Manager, DSR, Mr. Chinnaya Sylvain Judex, during the Numan factory visit, told LEADERSHIP that although the company’s experience has been set back two to three years in the processes of expansion due to global disruption due to COVID-19, adequate equipment and new farming technology for optimal performance has been introduced.
He said the company is implementing what has been invested in order to meet the NSDC’s demand for sugar production.
He revealed that in October this year, the company planned to commission a boiler and turbines to produce 6,000 TCD tonnes of cane per day by 2023.
“We have gathered the inputs and the equipment, we are confident to invest whatever is necessary to achieve the goal of the NSM plan.
He added that the company strives to train personnel in sugar technology to have good brains, which can perform well before reaching the highest level of production capacity and establishing a new factory in the town of Lau, in the state of Taraba.
“The extension requires an increase of around 3,000 hectares of land per year, as we produce 3,800 tonnes of sugar per day, we are increasing to 6,300 tonnes more per day and another 6,000 are coming.
“The ultimate goal is to have 9,800 tonnes per day, where the plant does not even produce 2,000 per day currently.
The venture is also designed to generate 32 megawatts of electricity from the installation of new turbines and 2 high pressure boilers of 90 tons of rod per hour.
Hopefully the electricity can meet the power supply of the entire Adamawa State.
This singular feat alone can create employment opportunities through a public-private partnership with the Adamawa State government and increase production capacity to 9,800 metric tons of sugar per day, which translates through a series of interventions on host communities in five local government areas of Lamurde, Numan, Guyuk, Shelleng and Demsa in Adamawa State as part of the DSR cooperate social accountability

Safety and health
Judex said Fadama Police Station has been rehabilitated to ensure security protection as well as provision of free medical care and treatment to citizens of host communities within the company clinic run by 24 medical people and two doctors.

Total cultivated land
THE CEO said “The ultimate goal in terms of land is 32,000 hectares, then in 2022 we reach 8,650 hectares of land.
“Each year we planned to increase by 3,000 hectares and within four years we would be at around 4,000 hectares.

Small Producer Program
The Out Growers Scheme was adopted by the company to engage host communities in profitable farming activities, where DRS acts as the buyer.
For example , in Mbare , a host community of 450 hectares of land has already been cultivated by the beneficiaries of the program
“We have just introduced drip irrigation technology to Out Growers farmers on win-win settings to encourage them to produce 50 tonnes of sugar cane per hectare, the CEO added.
He further said that the company introduced the model of sugarcane development schemes in which space, land, seeds, fertilizers and other inputs were made available to farmers in the community. as a strategy to achieve the target set by the National Sugar Development Master Plan.
He explained, “We are looking for yielding varieties that relate directly to the NSDC to get the best results.
The model aims to enrich many farmers in the five local government host communities, which surrounded the plant.
“We have enough room for improvement in the Outgrower Scheme, the proceeds of which go to communities.
“The program is a win-win venture, hoping that the venture would improve the living standards of people in the host communities.”

Dialogue with host communities
Meanwhile, the company, during its stakeholder engagements with 57 villages, 13 district chiefs, 51 village chiefs, urges mutual synergy with the people where the company is located.
Now, the company has promised to liaise with the host community with a view to strengthening community relations.
Bridging the communication gap with the host community, he said,
would limit the threat of vandalism and theft of company property.
Ismaila Mure, Youth Officer of Numan Federation, commended the company for providing free medical services, renovating a school and building a road network as a responsible cooperator to the people.

Rachel J. Bradford