Nigeria’s rice importation woes may soon come to an end following the decision of Dangote Group to go into production of rice.
This decision was made public by Dangote Group’s Supply Chain Director, Knut Ulvmoen, at the 33rd edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF).
Existing capacity: Dangote Group boasts of 150,000 hectares of land dedicated to growing rice in Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara States and 10 rice mills in several parts of the country. All of these are expected to help the Group achieve production of one million tonnes of rice yearly.
Ulvmoen noted that the group used to be the best in the business before it shifted focus to other things like cement, sugar and flour. Ulvmoen noted that even after the company stopped importing rice for sale, its product was still in high demand.
“So what do we do? We are entering into rice farming and processing and targeting a million tons output annually.
“We are already active in the farms. We have already got some paddy rice in some silos. We are also challenging others to do what we are setting out to do in order to make rice an exportable product in Nigeria,” he said.
The Group’s Supply Chain Director added that they were also interested in boosting the production of sugar, fertilizer and petroleum products in Nigeria.
Regarding fertilizer products, Ulvmoen noted that the group wanted to stop importing fertilizers but was also interested in exporting it to the world. He also noted that more products would be churned out to the public.
“The urea production is the starting point. Additional products will come out. We are aiming to have all the different fertilizer products like NPK etc. that are needed to improve the yields for the farmers.
“Nigeria is today importing fertilizer. But we do not want only to be importing. We want to be self-sufficient and move on to massive exportation of fertilizer,” Ulvmoen said.
In the area of petroleum products, Ulvmoen said that the Dangote refinery would produce a variety of crude oil forms and climate-friendly fuels for different purposes – aviation, transport and personal uses. He added that the refinery would process 650,000 barrels of crude daily and hinted at gas pipelines being laid from Port Harcourt to Lekki, to ensure optimal movement of refined goods.
“What is very important in Nigeria is gas. There is so much gas in the oil field that is still burnt. But this gas is very important for the production of energy in the country. And we want to make sure that there is gas in the pipeline. Nigeria needs to utilize all-natural resources especially oil and gas.
“We have our sugar refinery in Apapa with capacity for 1.4 million tons annually. But we also want to reduce the importation of raw sugar. So, we are improving our plantation for sugar cane. We want Nigeria to be as independent as possible from sugar import.”