BUA Group appoints Matos to drive sugar backward integration agenda
To aid the implementation of Federal Government’s backward integration policy in the sugar industry, especially in its subsidiary, BUA Group has announced the appointment of Mario De Matos, a renowned sugar expert to head its Agribusiness Division.
According to the firm, the move is part of its commitment to consistently implement the Federal Government’s backward integration policy in the sugar industry through its sugar subsidiary, BUA Sugar.
Until his appointment, Mario de Matos was the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) Country Representative in Nigeria overseeing the USAID-funded APEx project that covered support to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development GES, agro-dealers training, small holders and private sector access to finance, gender and cross-cutting issues in 10 states across Nigeria.
According to a statement, Group Executive Director of BUA Group, Kabiru Rabiu said Mario’s appointment sends a clear message that BUA Group is a serious agribusiness player and is in line with the Group’s commitment to ensuring the effective implementation of the backward integration policy on sugar and the success of the Government’s national agricultural development policy.
Mario brings with him a deep and extensive knowledge of the sugar industry with substantial experience working across five continents in the past four decades.
I look forward to working with him to build on our strong investments in sugar plantations within the country as well as explore other opportunities for growth within the agribusiness sector,” he said.
BUA Group operates a state-of-the-art sugar refinery in Lagos and intends to commission its second mega sugar refinery in Port-Harcourt by the end of this year.
The combined capacity of these two refineries will make BUA Group arguably the largest single refiner of sugar within Nigeria”, the statement read in part.
Kabiru further added that BUA Group had invested in large scale sugar projects within the country with its acquisition of Lafiagi Sugar Company in 2008 to deepen local sugar production. “The Group also established the Bassa Sugar Company in Kogi state and has completed the acquisition of 50,000ha of land for the purpose of setting up a large-scale sugar plantation.
Upon fully coming on stream, these initiatives will add significantly to the development of Nigeria’s local sugar industry”, Kabiru added. “As a seasoned agronomist and professional agribusiness executive, Mario’s experience spans various agribusiness areas including general management of sugar cane plantations and other crops in irrigated and dry land conditions with nucleus estates, management of out-growers schemes in Africa and other continents, project appraisals, development of agricultural policies and sustainable development planning for governments in developing countries.
He also has extensive experience in large sugar projects’ agricultural management within and outside Africa and spent seven years of his career working on policy and strategy development for the rural sector of new cane sugar estates – participating and providing support and, assistance in environmental & social impact studies”, the statement read.