Nigerian government commends BUA on $300 million sugar refinery

22 Jul 2019
Financial Nigeria


BUA Group's integrated LASUCO Sugar Company in Lafiagi will produce 20 million litres of ethanol per annum, 200,000 metric tonnes of refined sugar annually and 35 megawatts (MW) of electricity.   

Kabiru Rabiu, Executive Director, BUA Group

The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) has commended BUA Group on the company's investment to boost local production of sugar and its efforts to enhance Nigeria's capacity to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production. Executive Secretary of the council, Latif Busari, made the commendation at the maiden conference of the Sugarcane Technologies Society of Nigeria (STSN) in Abuja.

According to a statement by BUA Group, its US$300 million integrated LASUCO Sugar Company in Lafiagi, Kwara State, is a backward integration project, which will produce 35 megawatts (MW) of electricity to be used for the factory and the excess supply will be added to the national grid. When completed in 2020, the plant will produce 20 million litres of ethanol per annum and 200,000 metric tonnes of refined sugar annually.       

BUA Group’s Executive Director, Kabiru Rabiu, who also spoke at the STSN conference said LASUCO Company will be the biggest integrated sugar plantation in Nigeria upon completion. Rabiu spoke on the topic, “Challenges of Emerging Sugar Companies in Meeting the Sugar Demand of Nigeria.”

“With the pace at which BUA Group is going with its sugar mill in Kwara State, we are quite confident that the backward integration plans to raise local sugar production to attain self-sufficiency, create large number of employment opportunities and to contribute to production of ethanol and generation of electricity are realistic and achievable in the shortest possible time,” Rabiu said.  

The Executive Director called on the government to tackle the challenges militating against the growth of the sugar industry in Nigeria. According to Rabiu, some of the challenges include huge capital cost, conflicts in land acquisition, insecurity, infrastructure deficits, water and environmental challenges, skills deficit and regulatory bottlenecks.

“Nigeria is Africa's largest sugar importer with our consumption ranging between 1.5m – 1.7m tonnes per annum. That is around 8kg per head, which is low compared to the Africa average of 17kg," said Rabiu, adding that the country's low consumption capacity is due to the above-mentioned challenges, leading to high cost of sugar production and heavy capital investment.

Rabiu added that the government, through the NSDC, can help by creating sugar hubs, a sugar sector intervention fund, direct land acquisition, and promote synergy among various stakeholders and industry regulators.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NSDC said BUA’s efforts should be emulated by other players. He also said the council is committed to achieving self-reliance in sugar development as contained in the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP). He expressed satisfaction with the progress at BUA’s integrated sugar mill.

The NSMP is a road map designed to enable Nigeria attain self-sufficiency in sugar within 10 years, effective from 1st January, 2013.

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