The Federal Executive Council in its 37th meeting held in September 19 2012 approved the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan, NSMP, for adoption and implementation as a roadmap for development of the sugar sub sector.
According to correspondent Mathew Ayoola, the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan is a 10 year blueprint designed by the Federal Government to revatilize the sector and make Nigeria a net exporter of sugar.
It also seeks to bring about a complete overhaul of the sector to enable Nigeria become self sufficient in sugar production, create direct and indirect jobs, generate electricity, become a notable sugar producer as well as priduce ethanol for industrial use and utilization.
Seven years down the line and three more years to go, what has been the successes recorded so far in the sector especially in the outgoing year,?
A major distributor in the sugar industry, Mrs Roseline Alabi described the efforts of the National Sugar Development Council in meeting the production of 1.7 metric tonnes of sugar needed by Nigerians, addressing the challenges of forex through collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, resolution of persistent land dispute between community and sugarcane farmers as well as the recent launch of sugar sector infrastructure intervention by President Muhammadu Buhari among others as highly commendable.
For the Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council, Mr Zacch Adedeji seven years into the policy and three more years to go, the sector had among other things attracted over 250 billion naira worth of investment in sugar estates across the country through its Backwards Integration Programme leading to creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs for teeming unemployed Nigerians including sugarcane farmers and contributed to the production of ethanol and electricity generation.
Mr Zacch Adedeji said efforts have also been made to resolve the challenges been faced by operators in the sector in the area of forex, equipment and land acquisition.
The Executive Secretary of National Sugar Development Council who commended the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo to the Council towards realizing its mandate of developing the nation’s sugar industry called for more public private sector collaboration in repositioning the sector.