Dangote Sugar Refinery plc, the leader in Nigeria’s sugar industry, has adopted the strategy of building plants close to the customer.
In an exclusive interview with Real Sector Watch, Graham Clark, group managing director, Dangote Sugar Refinery plc, said one of the key strategies adopted by the company was to build production sites or plants close to the customer. Most of the plants of the company are located in the Northern part of the country, implying that the North provides the largest market for the company and indeed all other sugar firms.
“Ultimately, we see the demand is in the North. Our main customers and demand come from the North. Security is always a concern, but we align ourselves with our customers,’’ he said, adding that the demand equally cut across the South.
Dangote Sugar’s $2 billion investment is to be sited in six states in the region. Its recently acquired Savannah Sugar plc is in Numan, Adamawa State, with a target of 1.5 million metric tons (MT) and expansion from current 6,500 hectares (ha) to 21,000 ha, to produce 100,000 tons of sugar annually by 2018. Aliko Dangote, president of the group, recently announced the company’s intention to invest $250 million in Jigawa State in September.
According to Graham, he believes the investments are meant to end Nigeria’s sugar import and satisfy local demand. He added that though the industry was dominated by import from Brazil, the country had the necessary natural resources, good climate, best of water, people with good work ethics, saying that his firm had unveiled several programmes to support local sugarcane farmers, who provide raw materials for the emerging industry.