BUA Foods Plc has received commendations from the National Sugar Development Council (“NSDC”) over the level of progress made at its wholly owned subsidiary, LASUCO Sugar Company Limited (“LASUCO”) which sits on 20,000 hectares of arable land in Lafiagi, Kwara State.
Over the years, BUA foods has invested heavily in the backward integration program of the Federal Government under the supervision of the NSDC. When fully completed, the over $300million integrated sugar factory will comprise of a sugar mill with a capacity of 10,000tons of cane per day, a sugar refinery with an annual capacity of 220,000metric tonnes, a 35megawatts power generating plant to fuel the factory with potential to supply the national grid, and a 20million litres per annum ethanol production plant. The plantation also has a 3km airstrip of international standard, built to support its operations.
Addressing the NSDC team in Lafiagi, the acting Managing Director, BUA Foods, Engr. Ayodele Abioye said the visit was timely as it restates the company’s drive to ensure the advancement of the food sector and the Nigerian economy.
According to Abioye, “We thank the National Sugar Development Council. We are glad you like the level of work that has gone into this plantation and remain committed to fully attaining the backward integration program. Its role in conserving foreign exchange, boosting local capacity, creating jobs, enhancing skill acquisition and ensuring that less emphasis is placed on imported raw materials is clearly understood’’
“We believe at take-off; this enormous project will make a huge impact to our business and the aspirations of the council”.
Speaking during the working visit to the plantation, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) Zacch Adedeji, said the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Government is committed to revamping the sugar industry through the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan, (“NSMP”) which has the capacity to ensure we grow what we eat, and eat what we grow while providing job opportunities for millions of Nigerians.
Adedeji who thanked BUA Foods for its resilient commitment towards the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) expressed satisfaction with the level of progress made at the integrated sugar factory adding that Nigeria is a step closer to achieving self-sufficiency in sugar production.
“At the sugar council, our aim is to locally produce 70% of Nigeria’s sugar consumption which is currently at 1.7metric tons per annum. LASUCO is expected to play a pivotal role in achievement of this goal as it’s expected to contribute up to 25% of the targeted local consumption
based on its capacity”.
Adedeji added that “I am impressed with the level of progress I have seen here. All that’s required is to further develop the field to which I have seen the commitment of the BUA team to meet that”.
The company is working towards supporting farmers through an out-grower scheme to increase sugar cane production and provide a springboard for expansion of its local sugar production while impacting the host community and Nigerian economy at large.
Earlier, Alhaji Mohammed Kudu Kawa, the Emir of Lafiagi described the project as a “game-changing initiative” that will spur development of the community.
According to him, “For us, the BUA-LASUCO project is a dream come true for Lafiagi as there are only a handful of towns that can boast of a $300m dollar investment. We are proud of this project and very happy it is situated in our area. The potentials are huge, the type of transformation this project will bring Lafiagi beats the imagination. Today, we are on the world map due to the 3km runway. We are very happy and committed to this project; There is nothing BUA needs that we will not accommodate”.
BUA Foods is a leading food business with well diversified and scalable operations producing sugar, flour, pasta, rice and edible oils. With strategically located plants across Nigeria, coupled with a cordial alliance with local stakeholders in host communities, BUA Foods is a resilient business built on a strong brand proposition and is an operator with reputation for delivering high-quality products.
BUA Foods continues to invest in modern technology for efficient food production, innovatively expanding with strategic partners across the value chain. The company is also well positioned to leverage significant export potentials across West Africa and the larger African continent.
Headquartered and listed in Nigeria, BUA Foods has become one of the most capitalized companies on the NGX and a leading consumer goods firm by market value.