Importers order 527 billion sugar on risky master plan

Despite the federal government’s warning about the distortion in the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), importers ordered 1.93 million tonnes of sugar worth 527 billion naira ($925.05 million) for 2022.

The NSMP, which began in 2013, is a 10-year roadmap designed for the sector to enable the country to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production, create jobs and generate electricity , among other objectives.

But nine years on, the program has failed to achieve its main goal as New Telegraph findings revealed local production was 75,000 metric tonnes in 2021 instead of the 1.7 million tonnes envisaged under the framework. government’s backward integration program (BIP), resulting in a shortfall of 93.3% or 1.62 million tonnes.

The country had planned to meet the target of 800,000 tonnes of raw sugar production by 2022, but there are fears that Nigeria will miss the 5% target. Data from the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) revealed that in 2016 local production of refined sugar was 25,000 tons; 2017, 20,184 tons; 2018, 14,918 tons and 2019, 28,597 tons, resulting in a massive import.

At the Lagos port complex alone, four ships arrived with 158,000 tonnes for the month of February. Shipping position data from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) revealed that one of the vessels, Baltic Mantis, docked with 47,000 tonnes of cargo at Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL).

Also at the terminal, Chayanee Naree and Karteria were moored to unload 46,000 tonnes and 45,000 tonnes respectively, while Doro arrived on Sunday with 20,000 tonnes.

The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) had also stated in its guidelines that with the approval of the Nigerian NSMP by the Federal Government, the importation of all kinds of sugar would be based on the issuance of an import permit. annual.

It stated: “All imports of sugar must be approved by the President on the recommendation of the Honorable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. Any shipment of sugar imported without presidential approval will be classified as contraband and will be confiscated by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The council also gave incentives to boost domestic production of the product as follows: a five-year tax for investors in the value chain; 10% import duty and 50% levy on imported raw sugar; 20% duty and 60% levy on imported refined sugar.

Importers were found to have been hiding under the guidelines and inducements to import raw and refined sugar into the country, leading to massive imports.

The huge exports, it was learned, had spoiled the government’s decision to provide 110,000 jobs under the BIP.

According to Trade Data Monitor (TDM), Brazil’s cumulative raw sugar exports to Nigeria from April 2019 to March 2020 were 1.59 million tonnes valued at 312.4 billion naira ($637.6 million). , while for the 2020/21 season, imported raw sugar was 1.62 million. tonnes valued at 318.3 billion naira ($649.6 million).

Worried about the huge import and the purpose of the master plan, NSDC Executive Secretary Mr. Zacch Adedeji recently said that the government will not tolerate the deliberate distortion of the sugar master plan by one of the operators, under any form whatsoever.

Adedeji, during a working visit to Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR), Numan, Adamawa State, said the federal government was committed to revitalizing the sector for the benefit of Nigerians, saying the government would not hesitate to punish anyone or any group of people. with the intention of sabotaging its efforts in the sector.

In a statement by NSDC Head of Media and Public Affairs, Abdullahi Yunusa, the Executive Secretary appealed to major operators in the sector on the supremacy of the current master plan, adding that it is no longer about a policy but an act of the National Assembly. He added, “We will not tolerate distortion of the master plan.

The president is committed to implementing to the latter what we have in the master plan. “From our side as regulators, we will not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law against anyone who tries to sabotage the government’s effort in this sector.”

On investments in the sector over the past seven years, Adedeji pointed out that the sector has notable business groups such as Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar Refinery which are currently implementing the component. NSMP’s Backward Integration Program (BIP).


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