The Chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery(DSR) Plc Aliko Dangote, has urged government to faithfully follow through the Backward Integration Policy (BIP)in the sugar industry as the nation stands to rake in foreign exchange up to $700millon yearly from Sugar production self-sufficiency.
Speaking at the 15th annual general meeting (AGM) in Lagos, yesterday, he said allowing distortions in the sugar masterplan framework could adversely affect the target of the nation attaining self-sufficiency as projected.
According to him, BIP is a commendable policy that will not only reduce imports of raw sugar but save the nations enormous foreign exchange used for importation.
He said: “The BIP in the Sugar industry is going on well if the National Sugar Master Plan is followed strictly and the players all follow the rules, the country will be better for it as Nigeria will save between $600million and $700 million annually as forex.”
He disclosed that the backward integration policy of DSR was recording appreciable progress even as he declared the company’s irrevocable commitment to the policy.
Speaking on the performance of the company, he said that despite the disruptions in the economy occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, DSR recorded an increase in production volume which rose by 13.7 percent to 743,858 tonnes in the financial year ended December 31, 2020, compared to 654,071 tonnes in 2019.
According to him, turnover of N214.3 billion was recorded in 2020, showing a 33per cent increase over the N161.1 billion in 2019.
Profit after taxation increased by 33.2 per cent to N26.70 billion as against N22.36 billion in 2019. The board of the company declared a dividend payment of N18.22billion to the shareholders, amounting to 150 kobo per ordinary share of 50k each.
According to Dangote, the improvements were attributable to operations optimisation strategy despite disruption caused by civil unrest in last quarter of the year.
“Our growth continued to benefit from the sustained efforts to drive customer base expansion and several trade initiatives and investments.”
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, DSR Plc Mr. Ravindra Singhvi, said the sugar group continued the growth path with commitments to improve performance and generate value for all stakeholders.
He explained that this was reflected in the sales volume delivery of 731,701 tonnes, and production of 743,858 tonnes being 6.9 per cent and 13.7 per cent increase in volumes over the comparative year 2019.