Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN), Nigeria’s leading integrated food and agro-allied company, has acquired 20,450 hectares of land in Nassarawa State to boost the backward integration strategy of the National Sugar Master Plan, as it expands its investments in the sugar Backward Integration Plan (BIP).
This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director/CEO of FMN, Mr Omoboyede Olusanya, during the official handover of the land by Governor Abdullahi Sule, in Abuja on Friday.
Since 1978, with the acquisition of a 10,000-hectare farm in Kaboji, Niger state, Olusanya explained that the company has continued to demonstrate its commitment to harnessing the nation’s resources. According to him, Flour Mills has progressively increased their investment in the primary processing of domestically cultivated soybean, oil palm, cassava, maize, sugarcane, sorghum, and wheat, as well as in storing, aggregating, and distributing locally sourced grains.
He said, “Following in that rich tradition, we are today witnessing another noteworthy contribution to ensure Nigeria’s food security by expanding our commitment to the development of the sugar value chain. As part of our contribution to the backward integration strategy of the National Sugar Master Plan, we are expanding our investments in the Backward Integration Plan (BIP) with the acquisition of 20,450 hectares of land in Nasarawa State.
The total projected cost to achieve this bold new plan is at least USD$300 million. This is of course in addition to our already bourgeoning investments at Sunti, Niger State, which is by the way, on record as being the first greenfield investment under the National Sugar Master Plan that is currently producing raw sugar.
In the following weeks, we will be seeing land preparations, including, surveys, soil tests and preliminary construction works in anticipation of the commencement of operations during the course of this year. The plan is to develop up to 15,000 hectares under cane in the project area and to construct a sugar mill and other ancillary infrastructure in line with our BIP commitments.
As with our investments in Sunti, the Nasarawa BIP development plan will significantly benefit host and surrounding communities, who will be impacted by several community improvement projects including access roads, electrification projects, primary healthcare and educational facilities, and expanded job opportunities for the youth in particular.”
He assured that the company is fully committed to the success of the National Sugar Master Plan and will continue to seek the backing of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, as well as the National Sugar Development Council, through more enabling policies, unwavering support for the NSMP and other financial programs that will ensure that Nigeria takes its rightful place in the global sugar industry.
What you need to know about the project
The 20,450 hectares is situated at Umaisha Development Area of Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, on the north bank of the Benue river, about 70 kilometres upstream from Lokoja.
It is expected that land preparation, including, surveys and the initial designs will start immediately in anticipation of the commencement of operations during the course of this year.