Three years into its acquisition of 68, 000 hectares of land in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, a team from the Dangote Group is in the state to commence civil works for the construction of the Dangote Sugar factory.
Maryoud Elsunni, a member of the two-man from the headquarters of the Dangote Group, disclosed this when the team paid a courtesy visit to the Lafia Government House, on Tuesday.
Elsunni said Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman/CEO of the Dangote Group, has directed his contractor to handle the project, which when started will generate employment for over 1000 people from the immediate community.
He explained that they will first undertake the construction of a bigger water pump station that will provide water across 15, 000 hectares, in addition to the already existing water pump station that can cater for 600 hectares.
“Soon, we will bring some guys here to start. It will create direct employment for the local people. The contractor is coming with some highly skilled personnel but a lot of the workers will be engaged. Unlike contractors that will come with their workers, this one will engage thousands of local people to build these structures,” he stated.
In his response, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, who couldn’t hide his excitement, said the essence of bringing investments like the Dangote Sugar Refinery, is to bring wealth to the people of the state.
Earlier, while announcing the arrival of the Dangote team to members of the Nasarawa State Correspondents’ Chapel, also on a courtesy call, Engineer Sule explained that the process for the production of sugar takes time.
According to o the Governor, unlike what most people think, it is not possible to cultivate the 68,000 hectares of land in Tunga, all at once.
He explained that a lot of people lack a proper understanding of the processes involved in the production of sugar, hence the need to throw more light on the matter.
“What you need to do is to start with 100 hectares, if the location is good for the production of sugarcane, then you will expand the production from 100 hectares to 1,000 hectares to 10,000 hectares.
Engineer Sule said since it takes sugarcane one year to grow, it will take approximately three years for an investor to produce enough sugarcane that will be crushed to produce sugar.
“Assuming it’s good, then it takes him to 10, 000 hectares. At that moment then he begins to now install his factory because he has enough cane by next year, to be able to crush and produce a little sugar” he said.
While noting that peace and stability are key elements in attracting investors, he said that explains why his administration doesn’t take the issue of security lightly.
“When there is total peace and stability, things flourish. Opportunities flourish. Investors are looking for where there is peace, where there’s stability to invest their money. In Nasarawa State, we will not go anywhere if we don’t have peace and stability. We are looking at projects that will be revenue-generating,” the Governor said.