Abdulsamad Rabiu, chairman of BUA Group, has disclosed that the sugar plantation and the refinery in Kwara State are among the most advanced anywhere in the world. He said the plantation has a capacity to produce 14,000 tonnes of canes per day when completed.
He said when completed, the refinery will generate over 10,000 direct employment and produce over 200,000 tonnes of refined sugar together, with 200,000 litres of ethanol and 35 megawatts of power – using the bye product of sugarcane.
“Kwara State is one of the states with land, water and climate and we set up our business here because we know sugar refining will succeed here,” he said.
“Instead of importing raw sugar and processing it in Nigeria, we decided to establish sugar plantation and refinery in Nigeria, and Kwara State happens to be the best located state for the investment,” he further said.
Rabiu lauded the efforts of the state in attracting investments, saying, “This is the only sugar plant in Nigeria with plantation and refinery and will be completed by the end 2020.”
Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Kwara State governor, said his administration would support the upcoming BUA Sugar Factory and other investors in the state to succeed by creating the right environment.
According to him, the strategies to attract and keep investors in Kwara would include sustaining the state’s peaceful environment and putting in place the necessary infrastructure and policies to ease the business climate.
He, however, commended BUA Group for siting its multimillion dollar sugar plant in Lafiagi in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara, stating that the facility would make the local government the richest in the North Central region.
“BUA today is the biggest investor in North Central Nigeria and we are happy that their investment is in Kwara State. I am, in fact, happy that it is in Lafiagi, Edu Local Government,” Abdulrazaq said, as he toured the facility in company of its chairman Rabiu and other officials of the conglomerate.
He further said the plant would produce about 25 percent of Nigeria’s sugar needs when it begins operation later next year and 75 percent of the country’s sugar needs in the next 10 years.
“Kwara wants to be the epicentre of sugar production in Nigeria and we are creating a peaceful environment for business to thrive,” Abdulrazaq added.
Such investments, he said, would cut poverty rate and strengthen Kwara’s capacity to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, since the issues of water and electricity would be tackled once the factory begins operation.
SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin