Mon. May 20th, 2024
Jude Johnson

The Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, says government will not tolerate deliberate distortion of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) by any of the operators under whatever guise. The NSMP is a 10-year roadmap designed for the sector to enable Nigeria attain self-sufficiency in sugar production, create jobs, and generate electricity among other noble objectives.

Adedeji in a statement by the Head, Media and Public Affairs, NSDC, Mr. Abdullahi Yunusa, dropped this hint today while on a working visit to the Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR), Numan, Adamawa state. He said government is determined to revitalize the sector for the benefit of Nigerians, and will not hesitate to punish anyone or group persons with the intention of sabotaging its efforts in the sector.

“I wish to appeal to our major operators on the supremacy of the master plan that we are presently implementing. It is no longer a policy, but an act of the National Assembly as amended in 2015. And based on the commitment of Mr. President to this sector, we will not tolerate distortion of the master plan. Mr. President is committed to implementing to the latter what we have in the master plan. On our part as the regulator, we will not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law against anyone trying to sabotage the effort of government in this sector”.

On investments in the sector in the last seven years, Mr. Adedeji said the sector has notable business groups like the Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar Refinery who are currently implementing the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) component of the NSMP.

“The sector has attracted big business players who have invested billions of naira in it. Only recently we saw the complete takeover and overhaul of the defunct Nigeria Sugar Company (NISUCO), in Bacita, Kwara state by a new investor known as the KIA Africa. As we speak, work has commenced there and hundreds of Nigerians living within Bacita as well as other adjoining communities have been gainfully employed and engaged by the company. The sector is open to genuine and serious investors. We at the Council are always available to provide both policy and technical assistance to willing investors”.

Speaking further on the KIA Africa group, he said, “the new owner has set its eyes on producing at least 300,000 metric tonnes of sugarcane, refining an estimated 204,000 metric tonnes of the sweet commodity, and generating N46 billion revenue by 2027. He further added that a workforce of about 20,000 employees would be engaged to drive the company towards optimum production and ensure economic growth of the country”.

He said another major player in the industry, Flour Mills Limited recently signed a multi-million dollar agreement with the Nasarawa state government to build a factory in Toto LGA of the state. The new project is in addition to the company’s N50 billion Golden Sugar estate in Sunti Niger state which was commissioned in 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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