THE Chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery, DSR Plc, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said that the company spent N121billion in 2017 in pursuit of its backward integration programme.

Meanwhile, DSR increased dividend paid to shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2017 by 192 percent to N21 billion or 175 kobo per share from N7.2 billion or 60 kobo per share in 2016 in line with its resolve to deliver decent returns on investments.

Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos, Dangote said that the money was spent on equipment, land acquisition, compensation to land owners, consultancy and related services. AGM

He said that despite the major setbacks like flood, community relations issues and most recently clashes between host community and Fulani herdsmen that hampered progress, Savannah Sugar remained the only company producing sugar from own grown sugarcane in the country with over N30 billion spent to date.

“Negotiations with the government and local communities in Kwara and Niger on land acquisition processes are ongoing, in line with the backward integration sites plan, while project activities will resume in Taraba State when the rain assuages,” he said.

Also speaking, the Acting Managing Director/CEO of DSR Plc, Abdullahi Sule, said the company would continue to pursue its target of achieving 1.08 million metric tonnes of refined sugar annually in the next six years.