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Towards meeting the national sugar master plan, Dangote Sugar Refinery is actively pursuing a backward integration master plan with a target of producing a total of 1.5 million tonnes of sugar per annum locally from its subsidiaries.
Savannah Sugar, one of its subsidiaries, at present is capable of producing 50,000 metric tonnes of sugar per annum.
The nation’s foremost sugar refinery has increased its market share of the Nigerian sugar market in the nine months ended September 30 2013 as part of the strategies to grow the company both locally and globally. The company is planning to resume exports to selected West African countries in the first quarter of 2014.
The management of the sugar refinery in a statement pledged to continue to strengthen output, sales and distribution through large distribution network, even as the sugar refinery has six warehouses and 350 own trucks to ease distribution to distributors.
It plans an additional investment of N180 billion for 4 factories in Sokoto and Kebbi States and has 150,000 hectares of land allocated for the project in Kogi, Kwara, Jigawa, Sokoto, Taraba and Kebbi.
Dangote Sugar acquired the moribund 50, 000 tonnes per annum capacity sugar producing factory – the Savannah Sugar Company Limited in Numan, Adamawa State in 2002. The buy-over, midwifed by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), was the fallout of the failure of several attempts made by the federal government to reposition the nation’s foremost sugar company.
Dangote Industries Limited emerged as the preferred bidder and core investor and after which it quickly went into turnaround activities in the company. To put the company back in shape, Dangote began investments of several billions of naira. Specifically, N12 billion initial investments were made by Dangote Group as core running expenses into the business after the take-over in the first five years.
The areas that gulped the money included factory and estate rehabilitation; purchase of vehicles, trucks and heavy duty equipment; salaries and wages; farm inputs like fertilisers and chemicals, among others; spare parts for factory and heavy duty equipment and payments in the form of Sugar Development Levy.
Dangote has embarked on expansion of the plant enhancing the integrated sugar cane farming and sugar milling through increased plant capacity from 50,000 tonnes per annum to 200,000 tonnes. This necessitated procurement of new machinery and new factory. This is to enhance the integrated sugar came farming and milling.
Today, total production hovers between 15,000 and 16,000 tonnes down from 30,000 tonnes per annum recorded after the completion of initial turn around project due to issues with the community. Savannah Sugar cultivates a total of 18,000 hectares. It employs approximately 20,000 people made up of direct employees and farmer out growers.
As a front line player in the backward integration policy, the Savannah sugar’s projection is to produce one million tonnes of white sugar by 2015, cultivating 100,000 hectares in about six states of Sokoto, Kebbi, Jigawa, Taraba, Kogi and Kwara, employing over 50,000 Nigerians.