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Dangote to reduce sugar import by 40%

Employ 30,000 youths in a new project

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc is poised to significantly reduce the importation of sugar into the country by 40 per cent. The reduction will pave way for the employment of over 30,000 Nigerian youths.

Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, explained recently in a chat with newsmen that it was embarking on Phase II of its sugar project, which will then cover over 100,000 hectares to make the sugar plant the largest in Africa.

Dangote said that the integrated sugar complex to be located in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, comprises a 60,000ha sugar plantation and two sugar factories with the capacity to produce 430,000 tonnes of refined white sugar per annum.

READ ALSO: Nasarawa govt, Flour Mills Nigeria sign MoU for production of sugar

Two ships, Aquarius Honor and Ocean Crown will arrive at Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL), a subsidiary of Dangote Group, to offload 45,850 tonnes and 46,750 tonnes of sugar, respectively.

Following the high demand in the food and drinks sector, GDNL took delivery of 187,000 tonnes from four vessels in May this year.

At the terminal, Common Galaxy came with 48,800 tonnes, Bonny Island, 47,200 tonnes, Chayanee Naree, 46,000 tonnes, and Karteria Bluestar, 45,000 tonnes. Also, in April, the terminal took delivery of 91,600 tonnes when Unity Bluestar offloaded 47,200 tonnes and Ecoatlantic, 44,400 tonnes.

The NPA shipping position noted that 67,000 tonnes of sugar were offloaded at ENL Consortium and GDNL, noting that the ENL terminal took delivery of 20,000 tonnes from Doro, while Baltic Mantis discharged 47,000 tonnes at GDNL.

It added that Genco Picardy arrived with 46,500 tonnes in February, while two vessels offloaded 101,422 tonnes in January, stressing that Desert Calm berthed with 55,352 tonnes and Pauline, 46,070 tonnes. A finding from Index Mundi, a trade portal, revealed that the country has already imported 965,000 metric tonnes of raw this year.

Also, the country imported $1.82 billion in beet sugar, sugar syrups, and other sugar confectionery in the last two years. Sugar is currently on the list of commodities on the foreign exchange restriction list of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also, statistics from Trade Data Monitor (TDM) based on the Brazilian Foreign Trade explained that Brazil’s exports rose from $458.9 million in 2019 to $702.8 million in 2020.

According to TDM, Brazil’s cumulative raw sugar exports to Nigeria in the 2020/21 season were 1.62 million tonnes, while domestic cane sugar production has slumped from 75,000  tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, about a 6.7 per cent decline within one year. The country had projected to meet the 800,000 tonnes target of raw sugar production by 2022 as demand by the food and drink manufacturing, and retail markets is on the increase.

However, Nigeria could not meet up to five per cent target as data from the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) revealed that in 2016, local production of refined sugar was 25,000 tonnes; 2017, 20,184 tonnes; 2018, 14,918 tonnes and in 2019, 28,597 tonnes; 2020, 75,000 tonnes and 2021, 75,000 tonnes.