CBN is Committed to Development of Agriculture
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, says the apex bank remains committed to development of agriculture and other allied products in the country. Mr. Emefiele said this on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at the inauguration of Sunti Golden Sugar Estates in Sunti, Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger State.
The CBN Governor at the occasion promised any individual or company who wants to go into agriculture or agro-allied productions should count on the support of the Bank. He said CBN invested over N25billion in Sunti Golden Sugar Estates through a consortium of banks at a single digit interest rate, repayable for a period of 10years. Mr. Emefiele expressed satisfaction with the level of work at the Estates saying it was in tune with President Muhummadu Buhari's notion that Nigerians should produce what they eat and eat what you produced.
Earlier, while inaugurating Sunti Golden Sugar Estates, President Muhammadu Buhari said, the sugar factory project was timely, noting that, his administration made great efforts to exit recession and was happy the economy has continued to show considerable growth.
President Buhari said that one of the cardinal objectives of his administration is to look inward and harness the country's natural endowments, either in agriculture or other non-oil products for inclusive growth and development. He noted that the level of work and magnitude of investment that he witnessed was a clear demonstration of his administration's policy on economic diversification that is attracting the right kind of support and engagement.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria, owners of Sunti Golden Sugar Estates, Mr. John Coumantaros, said the sugar factory is a strategic investment designed to accelerate production of sugar in Nigeria. He added that the factory which is set to save the country about $100million in foreign exchange annually was aimed at making Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production.
Mr. Coumantaros who commended the CBN for the support to make the sugar estates a reality, said, the era of Nigeria’s sole dependence on crude oil for foreign exchange is over with the inauguration of the largest sugar factory in West Africa. He concluded that his company is poised to overhaul the entire agriculture sector in Nigeria.
Sunti Golden Sugar Estates is located by the bank of River Niger on a 17,000 hectares of arable farm land with a capacity for 45,000 tons a day will provide direct employment for about 10,000 people yearly, and positioned to impact up to 50,000 others indirectly, including about 3,000 small-scale out-growers who would be cultivating sugar cane to feed the mill.
The Estates when fully operational is expected to produce 1million tons of sugar which translates to 100,000 metric tons of sugar annually.