The chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Aliko Dangote, has said the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) when executed as designed, could fetch the nation foreign exchange in excess of $700 million yearly from the Backward Integration component of the plan.
Dangote said this recently while receiving some businessmen who were on a visit to Dangote Sugar Refinery in Lagos.
He however warned that the BIP scheme must be protected to insulate the Nigerian economy to be able to achieve the twin objectives of local manufacturing and job creation.
"If the national sugar master plan is followed strictly and the players all follow the rules, the country will be better for it as Nigeria will save between $600 million and $700 million annually as forex," he said.
According to him, the Dangote Group is scaling up its social intervention in communities hosting its companies across the country.
Dangote said efforts were being made to impact positively on the host communities saying his companies has expended billions of naira in states where these investments are located.
Dangote explained that the corporate social responsibility projects undertaken by his companies were in addition to efforts by his Foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation, which is presently giving out micro grants to vulnerable women in all the 774 local governments across the country.
It would be recalled that the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo who was on a working tour of the Dangote's expansive Savannah Sugar Company (SSCL) Limited in Numan, Adamawa State and Tunga sugar project site in Nasarawa State, described the projects as huge, impressive and amazing, saying "Dangote's sugar plantation in Nasarawa is a very impressive sight. Amazingly, such a project exists in this place."
He added, "What we have seen so far from all the plantations we have been to are very impressive. We are impressed with the level of work they are doing."
Group executive director, Government and Strategic Relations Mansur Ahmed described Nasarawa State as one of the easiest states in the country to do business.
General manager for the BIP, Dangote Sugar, John Beverley said "When the factory is fully operational, it would have the capacity to crush 12,000 tons of cane per day, while 90MW power would be generated for both the company's use and host communities."
Last month, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly lawmakers visited the Sugar Project site said "They were highly elated and would give any legislative support to make the project a success." Group general manager, Alhaji Bello Dan-Musa told the visiting lawmakers that when phase II of the project is completed, it would make it the largest integrated plant in Africa.