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Buhari affirms commitment to economic transformation

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. PHOTO: SEYLLOU / AFP

•Unveils N50b Sunti Golden Sugar estate
President Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the transformation and diversification of the economy, by supporting businesses through the creation of an enabling business environment.

The president who disclosed this yesterday during the launch of the Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) N50b Sunti Golden Sugar Estate in Mokwa, Niger State, said his administration will intensify efforts at improving security, critical infrastructure and power generation across the country, to advance the country’s economy.

The president noted that in July 2016, he inaugurated the President Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBC) to spearhead business climate reforms and improve the general business environment in Nigeria.

He said the project could not have come at a better time, as the country makes her journey out of recession and the economy continues to show considerable progress.

He said: “we are reminded of one of the cardinal objectives of this administration, which is to look inwards as we focus on our national endowments in agriculture, and other non-oil sectors for machine growth and development.

“The level of work and magnitude of investment that we are witnessing here today is a clear demonstration that our policies on economic diversification are on the right path.”

He said globally, sugar has been identified as a key commodity that is critical to national food security, other than the development of local commitment, saying the investment of such magnitude will not only stem the tide of importation of sugar but will also save foreign exchange.

“While we have had some challenges in the implementation of the National Sugar Master plan (NSMP) in the past, I believe that our vision of attaining self-sufficiency in sugar in Nigeria, is well within sight with the kind of investment that has been made here.”

In his speech, Chairman, Flour Mills Plc, John Coumantaros, who described the launch as a significant milestone in the history of the company, said it is the realisation of the company’s strategic investment to produce sugar locally and improve the country’s economy.

He noted that the sugar estate, features 17, 000 hectares of irrigable farmland and a sugar mill that process 4,500 metric tons of sugarcane per day, considered as the company’s biggest agricultural investment in Nigeria.

According to him, the estate at full capacity, will produce one million tons of sugarcane, which roughly translates into 100,000 metric tons of sugar yearly.


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