By Hammed Salawu, Minna
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned N50 billion Sunti Golden Sugar Estate, in Mokwa, Niger state, ROYAL NEWS has gathered.
While addressing guests at the commissioning, President Buhari called on Private investors in the country to partner with the government in creating investment opportunities.
He said the coming of the sugar factory is timely as Nigeria has made her way out of recession and “we have showed considerable progress.”
According to him “we are looking inward to our natural endowment and deposit. We are focusing on agriculture and other non oil sectors.
“The mill as I was told cost the company N50 billion, and it’s expected to produce 100,000 metric tons of sugar yearly.
“It will provide direct employment for about 10,000 people yearly, and impact up to 50,000 people indirectly, including 3,000 small-scale out growers.
“While commending hte company for creating job opportunities for Nigerians, President Buhari said “flour Mill has shown commitment to Nigeria all through the good times and bad times.”
President Buhari also reiterated the benefits and economic possibilities of the River Niger, saying “it has been long overlooked, it is time explore and harness the benefits for commerce and investment.
Furthermore, he assured Nigerians that his administration will continue to create the enabling business environment and improve security and infrastructure across the nation.
Earlier, the Governor of Niger state, Abubakar Sani Bello said the agricultural sector is getting the needed attention it requires to generate employment and accelerated income growth.
While calling on investors to visit Niger state, he said the lands are under-cultivated and need more companies to partner with the state.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Flour Mills Nigeria, John Coumantaros, said that the estate would set the country on the path to become self-sufficient in sugar production.
According to him, “the sugar estate would feature 17,000 hectares of irrigable farmland and a sugar mill that processes 4,500 metric tons of sugar cane per day.
“At full capacity, the estate is expected to produce one million tonnes of sugar cane which roughly translates into 100,000 metric tons of sugar yearly.”
Coumantaros further said that the establishment of the project would reduce sugar importation into the country as well as save money in foreign exchange. “It will also boost local capacity and reduce unemployment by putting thousands of Nigerians to work,’’ it added.
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