The Nigerian government on 18th May inaugurated the first Sugarcane Bio-factory in Nigeria. The factory is situated at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.
This is part of government’s effort to achieve national self-sufficiency in sugar production.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga was present at the inauguration. While declaring the Sugarcane Bio-factory open for operations, Mr Olusegun Aganga said the factory is a one-million seedlings per annum capacity.
According to the Minister “the bio-factory is the first in the series of bio-factories that will be established in the next five years, with combined capacities estimated at 12.5million cane seedlings per annum. The facility is designed to address a critical constraint facing Nigeria’s sugar industry – timely provision of high quality and clean seeds to sugar estates and farmers across Nigeria.
“We expect that in four years, five of this kind of facility would have been established across Nigeria with capacities of between 2million and 2.5million seedlings per annum each.”
The production of sugar is an integrated process with field and factory processes that are inter-dependent and mutually inclusive. “The ultimate goal is to make Nigeria’s manufacturing sector highly competitive and dynamic,” he stated.
He is optimistic that that the efficiency in the cultivation and supply of sugarcane will enhance the efficient milling and production of sugar and associated by-products like ethanol and electricity ultimately expanding investments and businesses in Nigeria.
Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria is the largest university in Nigeria and second largest in Africa, after Cairo University, Egypt. The University’s mission, as contained in its Strategic Plan, is “to advance the frontiers of learning and break new grounds, through teaching, research and dissemination of knowledge of the highest quality; to establish and foster national and international integration through the development and the promotion of African traditions and cultures; to serve as a model and conscience of the society; to produce high-level human power and enhance capacity-building through training and retraining, in order to meet the needs and challenges of the 21st century.