Forex restriction: Sugar council to support investors for job creation

In view of its potentials to create millions of badly needed jobs, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) says it will provide both policy and technical assistance to investors in the sector.

Speaking while on a visit to sugar refineries in Lagos earlier this week, Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr Zacch Adedeji, reiterated a recent announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to soon add sugar on the Forex Restriction List.

“The sugar sector is a goldmine that holds numerous potentials and opportunities for Nigeria and Nigerians.

“It is a sector that has provided direct and indirect jobs for thousands of our citizens across disciplines and professions.

“We are all concerned about the need to provide job opportunities for our people, especially our youths.

“Unemployment is a major contributor to the various social crises facing us today as a country.

“This is why the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is committed to revamping the sugar industry to enable it to absorb our citizens and contribute meaningfully to the economy and the country in general”.

Adedeji reaffirmed that the Backward Integration Programme (BIP), an initiative under Sugar Master Plan is capable of creating huge employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled youths in the country.

According to him, the roadmap designed for the nation’s sugar industry has the capacity to tackle soaring unemployment level and, also address other socio-economic issues currently bedevilling the country.

He said that the sugar sector has what it takes to provide direct and indirect jobs to millions of skilled and unskilled youths.

A statement by Mal Ahmed Waziri quoted Adedeji as expressing the hope that Nigeria would emerge as the largest exporter of sugar in Africa in the nearest future.

“To achieve this lofty goal, we must all roll up our sleeves and accord priority to our backward integration programme which is the bedrock of our mission as an agency of government.”

He recalled the recent announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria said it would that it would soon restrict access to foreign exchange for importation of some commodities in the country, including sugar.

“This is clearly an indication that government cannot continue to expand its scarce forex on things that we have all it takes to produce locally.

“Let’s take this as a challenge and work towards ensuring that the BIP policy succeeds for the benefit our dear country”.

“It bears restating that we must be ready to take actions that will make Nigeria a net exporter of sugar thereby saving scarce forex for other purposes.

“Let us integrate all that we are doing to a workable and implementable agenda for the smooth operation of the sector,” he stated.

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