Taking Nigeria’s sugar industry to next level
When President Muhammadu Buhari got re-elected in 2019, he promised to expand on the mantra of change that he had implemented in his first four-year tenure.
“Judging by the previous depth of decay, deterioration, and disrepair that Nigeria had sunk into, we are confident that these past few years have put us in good stead to trudge on to the next level of building an even stronger nation for our people,” President Buhari said.
The road to self-sufficiency in sugar production is not been without obstacles, but the Federal Government, through the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), and its executive secretary, Zacch Adedeji, remain committed to addressing those peculiar challenges head on, as evidenced by a number of innovative and pragmatic steps taken since his arrival in March 2021.
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The policy is encapsulated in the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan, a 10-year roadmap policy that seeks to meaningfully revitalise the once vibrant sugar production sub-sector of the food and beverage industry in order to make Nigeria one of the leading sugar-producing nations on the African continent.
The sugar roadmap policy, which went into effect in 2013, is based on four major pillars. The objectives included increasing local sugar production to achieve self-sufficiency. To stem the rising tide of unrestricted commodity importation; generate a large number of job opportunities and to contribute to the production of ethanol and electricity generation
President Buhari recently launched a $73 million irrigation infrastructure fund to cushion the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sugar operators implementing the BIP project in order to encourage investors in the sector. Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Sugar Refinery, and Golden Sugar Refinery are among the operators.
“As a result of this strategic intervention, the country’s leading sugar producers, Dangote, BUA, and Flour Mills sugar, will be able to expand capacity and capitalize on the import substitution opportunity within the sugar market, further reducing the country’s import bill,” the President said during the official unveiling of the intervention fund.
“It is now an Act of the National Assembly, following its amendments in 2015.
We shall no longer condone or tolerate deliberate distortion of the master plan by anyone”, said Adedeji.