Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote to embark on an expansion, to cut Nigeria’s sugar imports by 40 percent

Aliko Dangote Fertilizer Plant

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote is ready to embark on a significant expansion project through his sugar company Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, which will reduce Nigeria’s sugar imports by 40 per cent and provide job opportunities across the board, particularly for youths.

During a news conference on Monday, Dangote, chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery, a subsidiary of his well-diversified industrial conglomerate Dangote Group, stated that the sugar company has commenced the second phase of its sugar project.

The planned integrated sugar complex will include a 60,000-hectare sugar plantation and two sugar factories capable of producing 430,000 tonnes of refined white sugar per year. 

The announcement comes about three months after Dangote announced that the company would produce 1.5 million metric tonnes of locally grown sugarcane by 2022.

The billionaire, who has held the title of “Africa’s richest man” for more than 11 years, revealed that the project would be located in Tunga, Nasarawa, a north-central Nigeria state covering over 100,000 hectares. It will be the largest sugar plant in Africa and employ more than 30,000 youths.

The commissioning of the sugar complex, which aligns with the country’s goal of achieving sugar sufficiency, fits well with Dangote Sugar’s strategic expansion plans and is expected to improve its revenue and earnings while producing shared value for stakeholders.

“According to the Trade Data Monitor, Brazil’s cumulative raw sugar exports to Nigeria in the 2020-21 season was 1.62 million tonnes, while domestic cane sugar production slumped from 75,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, about a 6.7-per cent decline within one year,” Dangote said.

Dangote, who founded Dangote Sugar Refinery in 1981, has developed his sugar brand into one of the biggest in Africa, with a refining capacity of 1.44 million metric tonnes.

It is Nigeria’s largest domestic and commercial sugar producer.

The group’s turnover in 2021 was N276 billion ($664.7 million), a 29-per cent increase over the N214 billion ($515.4 million) recorded during the same period in 2020, while pre-tax profit grew to N34.02 billion ($81.9 million), up from N22.05 billion ($53.1 million) in 2020.

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