The National Sugar Development Council, NSDC, has presented the 2022 presidential approval for raw sugar quota allocation to refineries in the country.
On the occasion in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NSDC, Mr Zacch Adedeji said the presentation became necessary towards ensuring the successful implementation of Nigerian Sugar Master Plan, NSMP.
He stated that the move is also in furtherance of the Council’s commitment to transparency, honesty and accountability in the discharge of NSDC duties.
According to him, all Backward Integration Programme, BIP, operators are by law mandated to operate strictly within the provisions of the master plan as the NSMP is no longer a policy but an Act of the National Assembly following its amendment in 2015.
“We shall no longer condone or tolerate deliberate distortion of the mater plan by anyone and on our part as regulator, we will not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law against anyone or group of persons caught trying to sabotage government’s efforts in the sector” Mr Adedeji stressed
The Executive Secretary explained that NSDC is fully committed to making the sugar sector environment more business friendly and transparent in its engagement with existing and prospective investors in the sector through policy formulation and technical support .
“The Federal Government under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated its profound interest in the sector in so many ways because only recently as part of his government”s commitment to cushion the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the sugar industry, the President launched a $73 million USD irrigation infrastructure intervention fund” He emphasized
He however debunked a publication making around on the suspension of sugar sales noting that given the strategic importance of the sugar value chain to the Nigerian economy, there is no known stoppage in sugar production by any of the operators.
“The Council is always ready to provide policy or technical support to any of the operators to enhance it’s operation and we know there are challenges in the sector but it is far better if those challenges are communicated through the right channels and platform instead of resorting to share practices capable of reversing all the modest gains so far recorded in the sector” He added
In a remark, a Controller of Customs, Suleiman Ciroma advised operators to always abide by the law guiding importation of their equipment and promised Custom’s support to the success of NSMP to make Nigeria self sufficiency in sugar production.
In their separate goodwill messages, representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, promised their support to Backwards Integration Programme, BIP and called for the support of all stakeholders towards realizing the objectives of the programme
Some of operators who also spoke at the event commended the National Sugar Development Council for the presentation and appealed for more access to forex to enhance their productivity.
Highlights of the presentation was the signing of the BIP documents by the operators.