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Over N157bn invested in sugar sector in six years – FG

Since the implementation of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan in 2013, over N157bn has been invested in the sugar sector through the Backward Integration Strategy.

The Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council, Dr. Latif Busari, said this when the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, toured major sugar project sites across the country.

The minister was accompanied on the visit by the President, Dangote Group, Alh Aliko Dangote; Chairman, BUA Group, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, and Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Mr. John Coumantaros.

The Federal Executive Council had at its 37th meeting held on September 19, 2012, approved the NSMP for implementation and adoption as a government strategy roadmap for the development of the sugar sub-sector.

The plan contains fiscal and investment-specific incentives designed to stimulate and attract new investors to the industry in order to increase local sugar production and reduce the nation’s dependence on imports.

Busari, according to a statement by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, NSDC, Ahmed Waziri, restated the government’s readiness to build a globally competitive sugar industry.

He said the government’s plan for the sector is to guarantee a huge return on investments for all players, attain self-sufficiency, create jobs, generate electricity and derive other benefits of the sugarcane value chain as contained in the country’s Sugar Master Plan.

He said the Council would continue to provide all necessary policy support and regulatory assistance for the sector to thrive.

He said, “Government is very much interested in building a globally competitive sugar sector that would make Nigeria a net exporter of the commodity.

“We are not going to relent in our determination to attain self-sufficiency in sugar production as contained in the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan.

“It is gratifying to note that overall investments in the sugar sector of the national economy have risen to N157bn in the last six years that the NSMP came on board, interestingly, more investors are coming in.

“The BUA Group is working hard at its BIP site in Lafiagi, Kwara State. The project would be ready for inauguration by the last quarter of 2020.

“Same effort is being replicated by the market leader, the Dangote Group at its two sites in Numan, Adamawa State and Tunga in Nasarawa State.

“Both projects form the BIP sites of the group. So, in all, though coming a bit late, I believe we are on the track, and we will not relent in our resolve to grow our sugar industry.”

He commended the three major investors in the sector for their huge investments in the sector despite operational and climatic challenges and urged them to speed up work across their factories.

Busari said that Nigerians are anxious to see that these factories become operational in view of their huge economic impact on the country and benefit to all interested parties.

Busari also said the minister’s visit was an indication of the government’s commitment to achieving self-sufficiency in sugar production.

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