By Nkiruka Nnorom
The chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery, DSR Plc, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said that the company will invest up to N106 billion in the next four years to bolster its operations.
Dangote made the disclosure yesterday at the company’s 11th Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos, saying that about N101 billion has been committed to date towards actualisation of the company’s backward integration projects, BIP.
He explained that the N101 billion so far spent was on equipment purchase, land studies and survey, sensitisation campaign for local communities, rehabilitation and expansion of Savannah Sugar.
“During the year under review, we continued our backward integration targets. This, unfortunately, has been challenges. Despite these hurdles, the Board is resolute and is even more determined towards achievement of our target to produce 1.5 million tonnes of refined sugar from locally grown sugar cane in the next six years.
We are confident that this ambitious goal is achievable, and we will leave no stone unturned in seeing that it becomes a reality,” he said.
He noted that due to the various challenges, Dangote Sugar realigned the BIP strategy and is now focused on full expansion of Savannah Sugar Company Limited, Greenfield project in Nassarawa State and the Lau/Tau project in Taraba State.
Reviewing the company’s financial performance, Dangote said the 2016 reflects the outcome of the strategic initiatives being implemented over the past two years to ensure the company sustains impressive performance in the face of the economic downturn.
According to him, the Nassarawa State government has given its approval for the commencement of the Greenfield project, while the company is in the process of cultivating a 50 hectare of sugarcane nursery at the site.
He assured that the company would continue to engage other state governments and the communities to ensure that the remaining projects are fully executed within the current financial year.
Reviewing the company’s financial performance, Dangote said the 2016 reflects the outcome of the strategic initiatives being implemented over the past two years to ensure the company sustains company the performance in the face of the economic downturn.
The company achieved a Group turnover of N169 billion, 68 per cent higher than the comparative period in 2015, while the profit before tax, PBT, stood at N19.6 billion.
The shareholders at the meeting approved the N7.9 billion dividend amounting to 60 Kobo per share earlier recommended by the Board of Directors.