NIGERIA – Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has approved a US$200 million corporate facility for BUA Industries, a member of the BUA Group (BUA), to complete its vertically integrated sugar facility in Lafiagi, Kwara State, Nigeria.

The proceeds will be utilised for the development, construction, commissioning and operations of a 20,000 hectares plantation, 2,200,000 tons sugar milling plant and a 200,000 tons per annum sugar refinery that will process and refine white sugar.

“We are pleased to support this landmark project which will significantly reduce Nigeria’s sugar import bills, currently estimated at over US$400 million per annum.

“The Project should over its useful life reduce Nigeria’s sugar import bills by approximately US$2 billion and create about 15,000 direct and indirect jobs that will accelerate development impact in the economy.”

The facility will also have an ethanol plant that should produce 25 million litres of ethanol annually and a 35-megawatt power plant that will produce renewable energy from bagasse – sugarcane residue (the Lafiagi Sugar Project or the Project).

The Project will enable the export of excess energy not consumed on site to the national grid and will recycle most of its waste products from bagasse, effluents and vinasse for energy production, irrigation, and fertiliser production.

Underpinned by a focus on its import substitution and vertical integration strategy, the Project will enable BUA Group – a leading food, infrastructure, mining, and manufacturing conglomerate – to ensure long-term self-sufficiency for its sugar operations.

The Group’s strategy is also in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Sugar Master Plan which emphasizes backward integration programmes for self-sufficiency in sugar production.

“We are pleased to partner with Africa Finance Corporation – a leading multilateral finance institution focused on Africa’s infrastructure and industrial development, on our Lafiagi Sugar Project, which is one of the most ambitious sugar plantation projects in West Africa,” Abdul Samad Rabiu, Founder and Executive Chairman of BUA, said.

“Upon completion, the Project will utilise best-in-class processing technology and clean renewable energy through the treatment and recycling of effluents, agricultural waste, and solid waste.

“Furthermore, the Project will go a long way towards solving Nigeria’s current dependence on imported sugar raws by utilizing homegrown processed cane sugar and through our integrated outgrowers initiative substantially reduce unemployment in the community.”

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