• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Manufacturers defy North’s insecurity with new investments

A Sunday with Aliko Dangote

Even though the security situation in the Northern part of Nigeria has remained a source of serious concern, some manufacturers are still aggressively investing in the region.

One of the attractions of the area is abundant availability of raw materials. For example, sugarcane is found more in Northern states like Adamawa, Jigawa, Kwara, Kebbi, Sokoto, among others, than in the Southern part of the country.

Dangote Sugar is investing $2 billion in six states in the North. One of the states is Adamawa, which has not been left out of the raging insurgency. Dangote Sugar, which recently acquired Savannah Sugar plc in Numan, Adamawa State, North-East Nigeria, targets 1.5 million metric tons (MT) of sugar from the state and plans to expand from its current 6,500 hectares (ha) to 21,000ha, to produce 100,000 tons of sugar annually by 2018. The firm has also acquired $35 million worth of machinery from Pan African Equipment Group, as part of its backward integration strategy designed to ensure realisation of the national sugar master plan.

Interestingly, Dangote Sugar invests in the North and uses local farmers, after paying them compensations. In Jigawa State, Dangote Sugar has put plans in place to use local farmers in sugarcane plantations and pay them due compensations.

Read also: Dangote Group to invest N217bn in sugar plantation in Nasarawa

“We are also going to pay compensations to the owners of the lands which we hope to used for the farming of sugarcane. We are only waiting for the state government to value the lands then we will pay the farmers, and most of the beneficiaries will be among the 10,000 farmers to be engaged for farming sugarcane,” said Aliko Dangote, chairman, Dangote Group, during his May 22, 2014, visit to Sule Lamido, governor of Jigawa State.

HoneyGold Group is investing $300 million in Adamawa, while Golden Sugar is also pumping $250 million in Niger State.

Crystal Sugar Mills is currently investing $30 million in Hadejia, Jigawa State, with a view to expanding its operations to produce 60,000MT of sugar per annum from its acquired 1,500TCD sugar plant.

Undeterred by the level of insecurity in the North, Ashaka Cement (AshakaCem), the fourth largest cement maker in the country, has also unveiled plans to increase production capacity to 4 million MT, from its current 1 million MT capacity.

AshakaCem, which is firmly located in Gombe, North-East Nigeria, has set aside about $600 million (N100bn) to build new production plants and a coal-fired captive power plant (CPP) that will supply regular electricity during the production process.

“The project will entail the building of CPP and a complete new cement plant of 2.5 million MT per annum capacity,’’ said Umaru Kwairanga, chairman, AshakaCem, during the expansion capacity groundbreaking ceremony held in Gombe.