Nigeria loses $450m annually to sugar importation – NSDC

The Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Latif Busari yesterday revealed that Nigeria loses between $450-600 million annually to sugar importation.
He stated this in a press statement issued in Abuja, where he said the amount is insignificant when compared with the foreign exchange lost to the importation of items like refined petroleum products, wheat and other consumables annually.
According to the NSDC boss, the situation was worrisome.
He restated the Council’s determination to deploy available resources to ensure that Nigeria progressively reduces sugar importation and attain self-sufficiency in production which is one of the core mandates of the NSDC.
He said, one of such bold steps taken to achieve this objective was the design and implementation of a policy roadmap for the entire sugar industry.
Speaking on efforts to create an enabling and business friendly environment to ensure private sector participation in the sugar sector, Dr.
Busari said government is constantly engaging investors to offer both technical and administrative supports that would propel them to success.
“For instance, we saw the need to intervene in the case of Sunti Golden Sugar Estate when it suffered severe losses owing to flooding for three years consecutively.
We stood by them and offered technical and administrative assistance to ensure that flood protection dykes will be constructed to mitigate a re-occurrence.
I am glad to tell you that the said multi-billion sugar project is on and running as we speak”.
He said the Council has put in place some measures that would help in handling some peculiar industry challenges like lack of access to land, community hostilities, flooding, economic uncertainties as well as huge debt burden arising from losses.
Dr. Busari noted, the Council has thought it necessary to hold town hall meetings to resolve land disputes involving sugar investors and host communities.
He maintained that members of communities hosting sugar projects should always adopt a solution approach in their engagements with owners of sugar projects instead of resorting to self-help which often worsens the issue.

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