Nigeria consumes 1.6m tons of sugar in a year –Enelamah
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah has disclosed that the country consumes over 1.6 million metric tons of sugar in one year. Adding that, Nigeria currently imports most of the sugar available in the country.
Enelamah revealed this yesterday in Abuja, he stated that “Nigeria typically consumes about 1.6 million tons of sugar per year; currently almost all of that sugar was or is imported”.
He said that the Ministry has developed a National Sugar Master Plan that will boost the production of sugar locally in the country over the next few years. “In that master plan, those that are prepared to do backward integration will work with farmers to produce sugar and we will allow them to import part of our needs at concessionaire rate over a period of time while we monitor their ability to produce sugar locally”.
The minister noted that, “the target right now is to provide 200, 000 tons of sugar locally every year over the next ten years until we are self-sufficient in producing sugar”. He added that sugar processing is capital intensive and requires billions of naira to set up a sugar processing plant.
Enelamah assured Nigerians that government is working on Trade policy that will bring about a lot of ease in doing business in the country. “The most successful one (policy) is cement, basically by supporting the cement manufacturers, they have actually made themselves self-sufficient to the point of now exporting cement” he stated.
He noted that the same policy is been adopted for sugar, “the reason is that sugar cane is grown widely in Nigeria and that is the source of sugar”. The Minister said the policy negotiation started last year, “is ongoing and expected to conclude before the second quarter of this year”.
The Minister praised the ratification of Nigeria Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) stating that, when implemented, the TFA will radically increase the volume and value of trade in goods, increase revenue generation, create opportunity for more jobs and expand the economy of the country.
The TFA basically contains the rules that simplify trade, eliminate barriers, reduces red tape and ensures speedy customs clearance for member countries