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BUA to Invest N92bn in Sugar Production, Refining

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BUA Sugar
  • BUA to Invest N92bn in Sugar Production, Refining

The Managing Director, BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, Ibrahim Yaro, has said that the firm, which operates the second largest sugar refinery in Sub-Saharan Africa, will invest $300m (about N92bn at N305.7/$ official exchange rate as of Thursday) in sugar production and refining.

He stated that the company was targeting two million tonnes of sugar production annually, adding that this would substantially aid Nigeria becoming self-sustaining in sugar production and refining and even for export.

He spoke on Tuesday when the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, came on a tour of sugar plantation and facilities at the Lafiaji Sugar Company at Lafiaji in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.

The minister was accompanied by the Executive Secretary of National Sugar Development Council, Mr. Latif Busari.

The minister’s tour was to ascertain the level of progress at the LASUCO Sugar plantation owned by the BUA Group.

Yaro said LASUCO, a backward integration site for BUA Group’s sugar subsidiary, had over 20,000 hectares of arable land, suitable for sugar cane and strategically located to serve the northern and southern markets of Nigeria.

He stated that 500 hectares earmarked by the company for its nursery development in 2016 had been developed, adding that there was ongoing land clearing and development preparation for additional 5,000 hectares, which would take the company through 2018.Yaro said, “The company, in its quest to sustain this laudable project, is not only planning to invest $300m in the plantation but has acquired over 50 heavy state-of-art equipment to fast-track the development of the plantation and achieve its aim of producing 1.2 million tonnes per annum when fully developed.

“We are focused, determined and vigorously marching forward to meet our set target with the sugar council. LASUCO is targeting the production of two million tonnes of sugar cane annually and this segment alone can produce over 4,000 jobs, while thousands of employment ýwill be generated at the plant and at an indirect level. BUA is serious and ever ready to surprise Nigeria and Nigerians in its current efforts of becoming a mega local sugar producer and first sugar exporter in the country.”

He said the BUA Group remained committed to partnering the government in ensuring the success of the backward integration policy of the sugar industry as well as in its drive to resuscitate and develop other areas of the Nigerian agricultural sector.

The minister commended the management of the BUA Group for the extensive work so far achieved with LASUCO and for its commitment to sugar development in Nigeria.

She lauded the investments and progress made on the plantation and called for greater commitment of state governors and host communities to attract more investments.

She said, “We are indeed very satisfied with the current pace of work and commitment exhibited by BUA on its sugar plantation.

“We hope other sugar companies will emulate the proactive steps employed by BUA to achieving self-sufficiency in sugar production, which will eventually translate to positive gains in Nigeria’s efforts in becoming a sugar producing nation.”

Busari said it was necessary to produce between 1.8 million and two million tonnes of sugar to meet the annual sugar needs of the country.

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaj Abdulfatah Ahmed, during the minister’s courtesy call on him, assured local and foreign investors of an enabling environment for investment to engender economic growth of the state.

He said his government was prepared to give necessary support to investors as a way of making Kwara State the preferred choice of business.

The governor, who identified agriculture as a key driver of the economy, acknowledged efforts of the Federal Government to truly revamp agriculture sector to serve as a means of diversifying the economy, creating employment opportunities and regaining the lost glory in economy.·

He also commended the Federal Government for its drive to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production through backward integration.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Federal Government Unveils Plan to Boost Nigerian Automotive Industry with Local Manufacturing Drive

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In a bid to revitalize the Nigerian automotive industry and reduce dependency on imported auto parts, the Federal Government has unveiled an ambitious plan to kickstart local manufacturing initiatives.

Spearheaded by the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Doris Aniete, the initiative aims to stimulate growth in the sector by increasing the supply of locally produced components to the market by 40%.

Announcing the policy during a ministerial sectoral briefing to commemorate President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office, Aniete emphasized the importance of collaboration among manufacturers, dealers, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders in the automotive ecosystem.

This collaborative effort, she stated, would be instrumental in addressing challenges, streamlining processes, and driving innovation within the industry.

For years, Nigeria has heavily relied on imports to meet the demand for vehicles and spare parts, with a significant portion of automotive components imported from abroad.

According to Luqman Mamudu, Chairman of the West Africa Automotive Show, Nigeria alone accounts for about 78.8% of automotive components imported to the region, amounting to approximately $4.2 billion annually out of the $6.2 billion spent by the region.

The newly developed framework aims to change this narrative by prioritizing the local production of critical automotive components such as tyres, batteries, brake pads, and more.

By fostering collaboration between stakeholders and incentivizing local manufacturing, the government seeks to create a more sustainable and self-reliant automotive industry.

Aniete highlighted the potential economic benefits of the initiative, citing significant foreign exchange savings through domestic production of parts.

She stressed that by reducing the need for imports, the country could conserve foreign exchange reserves and bolster its currency while simultaneously stimulating job creation and economic growth.

Furthermore, the government has attracted substantial investment capital amounting to $3.5 billion to develop a resurgence plan for the Nigerian Cotton, Textile, and Apparel Industry.

This initiative, undertaken in partnership with development partners and private sector players, aims to unlock the full potential of the sector and create additional opportunities for growth and employment.

In addition to these initiatives, the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment disclosed plans to host the Lagos International Trade Fair, signaling a renewed commitment to reclaiming Nigeria’s position as a regional market powerhouse.

The revival of this trade fair, last hosted 14 years ago, is expected to amplify market linkages for manufacturers, suppliers, farmers, and traders nationwide, catalyzing economic activities across various sectors.

As transformative reforms unfold in the Nigerian automotive and textile industries, the government remains focused on unlocking equitable opportunities for farmers, miners, and entrepreneurs.

With stringent regulations and collaborative frameworks in place, Nigeria is poised to chart a new course towards sustainable economic development and self-reliance in key sectors.

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Dangote Oil Refinery Set for December Listing on Nigerian Stock Exchange

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The $20 billion Dangote Oil Refinery is poised to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by December 2024, according to statements made by Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group.

Dangote, Africa’s richest man, expressed his enthusiasm for involving Nigerians, Africans, and other investors in what he described as a historic move.

Speaking to The Africa Report, he affirmed, “The listing, most likely, I won’t be surprised if we list (on the Nigerian Stock Exchange) by the end of this year. We will do that.”

This listing, expected to attract significant investor interest, could potentially add about N8 trillion to N10 trillion to the market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as predicted by economy and capital market analyst Rotimi Fakayejo.

He said such a listing would not only distribute wealth but also attract foreign portfolio investment to the country, bolstering the economy with additional foreign exchange.

Fakayejo further elaborated on the potential impact of the Dangote refinery listing, stating, “It is also going to engender foreign portfolio investment. Such listing will affect individuals in the country and the stocks listed on the Nigerian exchange.”

David Adonri, Vice President of Highcap Securities Limited, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the significance of the listing for the Nigerian capital market.

He said the listing would provide Nigerians with the opportunity to share in the considerable wealth generated by the refinery.

However, uncertainties loom regarding the Dangote refinery’s crude oil supply chain. While Dangote confirmed the refinery’s decision to import crude oil from the United States due to fluctuating Nigerian oil production figures, Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, denied knowledge of such imports.

Despite this discrepancy, Dangote defended the decision, stating, “We have tendered to buy some WTI oil from the US because the size of our refinery is very big, and we have to make sure that we secure the raw materials for our production.”

With the refinery set to attain a capacity of 500,000 barrels per day by July and reach its full capacity of 650,000 barrels per day by the end of the year, expectations are high for its transformative impact on Nigeria’s energy sector and broader economy.

The impending listing of the Dangote Oil Refinery represents a significant milestone in Nigeria’s quest for economic growth and diversification.

As stakeholders eagerly await further developments, the prospect of increased market capitalisation and enhanced investor participation holds promise for the country’s economic future.

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Retail Transactions on NGX Plummet by Nearly 55% in April

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Nigerian Exchange Group- Investors King

The retail transactions on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) declined by 54.89% in April to N100.77 billion from N223.37 billion in March.

This significant drop was revealed in the latest Domestic and Foreign Portfolio Investment Report released by the NGX.

The report highlighted that while retail transactions took a substantial hit, institutional transactions also saw a decrease, albeit less severe.

Institutional trading fell by 43.58% to N124.63 billion in April but still outperformed retail activity by a margin of 10%.

Overall, the total value of transactions executed by domestic investors continued to surpass those by foreign investors by approximately 30% in April.

However, the combined domestic transactions saw a steep decline of 49.27%, dropping from N444.28 billion in March to N225.40 billion in April.

Conversely, foreign transactions painted a more positive picture, increasing by 28.19% from N94.26 billion (approximately $70.83 million) in March to N120.83 billion (approximately $90.83 million) in April.

This surge in foreign investment activity provided a somewhat balanced view of the overall market dynamics.

Despite the month-on-month decrease, the total domestic and foreign portfolio transactions in Nigeria’s equity market amounted to N346.23 billion in April, marking a 35.71% decline compared to the N538.54 billion recorded in March.

However, the April figures still reflected a robust year-on-year growth of 81.07%, up from N191.21 billion in April of the previous year, indicating a positive trend in market activity over the longer term.

The report attributed the sharp decline in retail transactions to various market conditions and investor sentiments.

Analysts suggest that the decrease may be linked to economic uncertainties and a cautious approach adopted by retail investors in light of recent market volatilities.

Furthermore, the detailed analysis revealed that domestic investors were the primary drivers of the market, contributing N225.40 billion in April.

This trend underscores the continued dominance of local players in the Nigerian capital market.

Meanwhile, the NGX opened the new week on a slightly positive note, gaining 0.3% to reach 97,864.65 points after suffering three consecutive losses in the previous week.

The market’s year-to-date return improved marginally to 30.9% from the 30.5% recorded at the close of last week, suggesting a resilient market performance despite the recent fluctuations.

In related news, the NGX may sanction 47 companies over delayed audited reports, signaling a crackdown on non-compliance to maintain market integrity.

Also, the Federal Government listed N4.21 billion in April bonds on the NGX, contributing to the overall market activities.

While the drop in retail transactions is a cause for concern, market experts remain cautiously optimistic about the long-term prospects of the Nigerian Exchange.

They emphasize the need for strategic interventions to boost investor confidence and stabilize market activities in the coming months.

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