BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, operators of Lafiagi Sugar Company (LASUCO) in Kwara state, is expected to produce 250,000 metric tonnes of refined sugar per annum and 35 megawatts of electricity, the Managing Director, Alhaji Ibrahim Yaro, has said.
Alhaji Yaro added that hostility from host communities and the capital demands of constructing irrigation systems have been identified as the problems militating against the Federal Government’s sugar development programme.
Yaro, who spoke while hosting the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, called on the federal government and other stakeholders to move in and save the situation.
He said host communities should be made to appreciate the level of investment being brought to their localities and preserve such, instead of rising to destroy them.
His words: “Success depends on concerted action to confront the challenges of community hostility and infrastructure development. We believe that government is determined to implement the National Sugar Master Plan which it considers as one of the core components of its industrial revolution plan to accelerate economic growth.
“For the refineries to relentlessly implement their respective BIP projects, federal government is required to curtail the excesses of the host communities hostilities. They should be made to understand that investors of our magnitude are coming to bring development to their areas and empower them economically. They should be prepared to cooperate with us and protect the investment, and not use their youths to destroy them.”
“Having a sustainable water intake into the plantations are of significant importance in the overall interest of the entire project and creating canals and dykes are herculean tasks that require government’s understanding.”
The LASUCO boss also explained that the company has so far completed the feasibility study it started in 2015 adding from the estimates provided by the team of consultants, the project has land space in excess of 15,000 hectares out of which 12,000 is cultivatable while 5,000 hectares has been earmarked for an out-grower scheme.