President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, inaugurated a 100,000-tonne capacity sugar plant located at Sunti in Niger State.
The new sugar plant which belongs to the Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, was built at the cost of over N50bn, and occupies 17,000 hectares of land out of which 10,000 hectares are devoted to sugarcane plantation.
Present at the inauguration were the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Governor Sanni Bello of Niger State, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Etsu Nupe Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar; former Minister of Information Prof. Jerry Gana among others.
While conducting the inauguration, President Buhari said –
“One of the cardinal objectives of this administration is to look inwards as we focus on our natural endowments in agriculture and other non-oil sector for inclusive growth and development.
“The level of work and magnitude of investment we are witnessing here today is a clear indication that our policies on economic diversification are on the right path and attracting the right kind of attention…
This is the time to convert the area into a commerce and industry hub and I urge other business owners to follow the example of the Flour Mills and invest in the area.”
In his address, the Chairman, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, John Coumantaros, said that the establishment of plant was an indication of the firm’s belief and support for the Federal Government’s sugar master plan adding that it was the largest and most substantial investment the company had made in Nigeria which would help the country save $100m in foreign exchange annually.
In Coumantaros words, –
“Sunti Golden Sugar Estates is for our company, more than a dream come true; it is the realization of a strategic investment designed to produce made-in-Nigeria sugar. It is in line with our mantra, which is feeding people everyday. In Flour Mills Plc, we believe that reliance on imported raw materials for factory processes should be behind us.”