BUA Takes Over Lafiaji Sugar Firm â€“ BPE
ABUJA, August 14, (THEWILL) - BUA International Limited, on Wednesday formally took over Lafiaji Sugar Company in Kwara State, Chukwuma Nwoko, BPE’s spokesman said in a statement made available to THEWILL in Abuja.
At the handover ceremony held at Kwara Hotels, Ilorin, the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, in her remarks regretted that the Federal Government used considerable earnings from other sources to set up the plant "only for it to appreciate in decadence".
She, however, expressed confidence in the technical ability and competence of the new owners to turn around the enterprise and also realize the idea for which the federal government set up the sugar company.
The Director-General, who was represented by the Director of Industry & Services, Mr. Allwell Ibeh, noted that as investors, the new owners would be compelled by the demanding economic imperative to succeed. She added that "the challenge lies more in the altruistic service to the nation which is helping to develop the Nigerian economy and also provide jobs for the citizens".
Onagoruwa promised the Bureau’s preparedness to offer statutory assistance to BUA to succeed even as she pledged to encourage the company to achieve full implementation of the Post Acquisition Plan (PAP) for the company to realize its economic benefits for the country particularly in the areas of employment, revenue for the government, foreign exchange and availability of sugar in the Nigerian markets.
She commended the host community, the liquidator, the Kwara State Government and ex-staff of the company for their resilience and patience which have made the hand over possible.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of BUA International Limited, Mr. Chimaobi Madukwe, promised that the company would immediately commence rehabilitation of the sugar plantation to boost economic activities in the area. He pledged cordial working relationship with the host community.
Madukwe said BUA would justify the confidence reposed in it by the Federal Government by making the sugar company one of the best in the world.
LASUCO was established on April 6, 1971 as a joint venture between the Federal Government and Mehta Group of India which eventually pulled out of the technical agreement in 1985. Prior to its liquidation, the company with a fully paid up share capital of â‚¦1,067,000.00 was 100% owned by the Federal Government.
At inception, it was designed to have 7,750 hectares of sugar cane plantation and a processing refinery/factory capable of producing 72,000 metric tonnes of refined white granulated sugar annually. Other facilities earmarked for the sugar complex included irrigation and drainage facilities, a bridge across River Egwa, 180 kilometers of farm roads and a large housing estate. The factory is an open pan mini-sugar plant with production capacity of 60 tonnes per day.