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Flour Mills of Nigeria to Start Sugar Refinery in December

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, the country’s biggest miller by market value, will start production at its 750,000-metric ton sugar refinery in December, Chief Financial Officer Jacques Gauthier said.

“We are confident we will have our first production trials in December,” Gauthier said on a conference call with analysts today from Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, where the plant is located.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation of more than 160 million, wants to cut food imports by raising domestic supplies. The country, which produced enough food to feed its population in the 1960s, is now the world’s largest importer of rice and sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest importer of wheat and sugar.

Flour Mills has received approval “in principle” from the Securities and Exchange Commission to acquire the minority shareholding of Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc, Gauthier said. The Flour Mills board will announce “shortly” the next stage of its negotiation with shareholders in the bag producer, he said.

Flour Mills shares have fallen 3 percent this year, compared with a 27 percent rise in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

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