National News

Sugar Self Sufficiency Target Attainable, Says Adedeji

The Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council, NSDC, Mr. Zacch Adedeji says Nigeria has put in place necessary policies and programmes that will accelerate Nigeria’s drive to attain self sufficiency in sugar production as captured in the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan, NSMP, a ten year policy document for the sector.

Mr. Adedeji who said Nigeria, given it’s huge human population and vast arable land has all it takes to become a major player within the global sugar sector, restated the need for key players in the industry to redouble their efforts especially as it relates to the faithful implementation of the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) designed for the sugar sector.

The Executive Secretary who dropped this hint while on a working visit to the Lafiagi Sugar Company (LASUCO), in Kwara state owned by the BUA Group, further stated that the time has come for the sector to replicate the successes it has recorded in the refining of raw sugar in the agricultural aspect of the sugar business, which according to him is the bedrock of sugar production.

“The sugar sector is without doubt a critical aspect of our national economy that holds enormous opportunities for Nigeria and Nigerians. It is a sector with profitable investments as seen in the number of investors currently doing business in the industry. We are indeed very interested in contributing to job creation and provision of employment opportunities for our youth population” He stated

While reiterating government’s commitment to meaningfully address peculiar challenges such as flooding, smuggling, shortage of foreign exchange and insecurity facing the sector so as to make it attractive to investors globally, Mr. Adedeji stressed the need for players in the sugar industry to operate within the guidelines and regulations as contained in the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan.

“Government is committed to building a sugar sector that would boost the economy, provide jobs for our teeming youths and become a net exporter of the commodity and we are not unaware of some challenges confronting the sector. We know what the problems are, and that is why I keep stressing the need for sugar operators, especially those involved in our BIP programme to furnish us with ways we could help them overcome such challenges. Government is putting modalities in place to ensure that the sugar environment is suitable for investment” Adedeji emphasized

While assuring investors of government’s continued support and technical to ease their operations and activities, Mr. Adedeji hinted that more investors have indicated interest in the sector in the last two years.

“The sugar sector has attracted well over N250 billion investments in the last five years. We in the sector are quite optimistic and ready to translate our policies to tangible achievements. The Nigerian sugar industry has been well repositioned to meet the yearnings and aspirations of interested parties” the Executive Secretary added

On his part, the General Manager, Lafiagi Sugar Company, Lafiagi, Mr. Abdulrasheed Olayiwola said the company is working tirelessly to ensure the completion of its project within the sugar estate for it to commence full operations.

“We are working hard towards early completion of our project here in Lafiagi. Our vision as a people-centric business conglomerate is to use our tangible and intangible resources to touch and impact lives positively” He stated

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