Flour Mills Nigeria Plc on Thursday inaugurated their new 100,000-tonne capacity sugar processing plant at Mokwa, Niger State in the presence of notable dignitaries such as President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Sanni Bello, and Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele, etc.
The plant, named Sunti Golden Sugar Estates, was constructed at the cost of ₦50 billion and occupies a 17,000 hectares of land; 10,000 acres of which are already dedicated for sugar cane plantation.
President Muhammadu Buhari, while speaking at the event, said the inauguration of the new sugar factory was timely as it coincided with Nigeria’s exit from recession. According to him, sugar is critical to ensuring national security, and an investment of such magnitude would not only save the country a lot of money in foreign exchange but also encourage rural industrialisation as well as ensure holistic development.
He also noted that the investment was strategic, considering its location along the River Niger from where many Nigerians already derive their livelihood. In his opinion, the sugar plant is well-positioned to stimulate economic development in the region. It is, therefore, time to “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.”
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. -President Muhammadu Buhari
The President further commended Flour Mills of Nigeria for their commitment to ensuring the success of Nigeria’s industrialisation/development, while noting that this was in tandem with his administration’s determination to ensure an inclusive economy.
Also speaking during the inauguration, the Chairman of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, John Coumantaros said the newly-established plant was indicative of the firm’s belief in and support for the Federal Government’s sugar master plan.
According to him, the plant is the largest, most substantial investment FMN has ever made in Nigeria and would save the country about $100m in annual foreign exchange. He also said that the new factory has the potential to directly impact on the lives of fifty thousand (50,000) people in Niger State.
He said, “Sunti Golden Sugar Estates is for our company, more than a dream come true; it is the realisation of a strategic investment designed to produce made-in-Nigeria sugar. It is in line with our mantra, which is feeding people every day. In Flour Mills Plc, we believe that reliance on imported raw materials for factory processes should be behind us.”