by Godwin Okafor with Agency Reports
- FG says it’ll resolve manufacturers’ hiccups
As CBN say Nigeria imports $100m sugar annually
DOMESTIC sugar manufacturers imported over 1.4 million metric tonnes of raw sugar into the country in the first half of 2017 (H1’17). The imports were maily as raw material for final consumer sugar refinery.
Three key importers are Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar Refinery, a subsidiary of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc. Data on sugar importation in H1’17, obtained from the National Sugar Development Council, NSDC, showed that 693,436 metric tonnes of the commodity were imported in the first quarter of the year, while 739,978 metric tonnes were imported in the second quarter.
The breakdown further showed that Dangote Sugar imported the highest volume within the period – 850,929 metric tonnes of the commodity, followed by BUA which imported 291,010 metric tonnes and Golden Sugar 281,475 metric tonnes.
Benchmark for importation
According to NSDC, the federal government has introduced new guidelines and benchmark for importation of raw sugar by the sugar producers, effective from 2018.
In a statement, Dr. Latif Busari, Executive Secretary of NSDC, disclosed that in the new guidelines, operators are required to submit their requests for sugar allocation for any year in December of the preceding year, adding that the 2017 allocation would be the last sugar allocation on the old criteria, including market share and refinery capacity.
According to him, the key performance indicators (KPIs) for accessing and scoring Backward Integration Project, BIP, performance shall be the quantity of land developed and target for the year.
Other indicators, he said, would be mill development and factory operation, sugar produced in tonnes, and jobs created for the year. Busari said that to ensure compliance, government would put in place sanctions for poor BIP performance.
FG says it’ll resolve manufacturers’ hiccups
MEANWHILE the Federal Government has said following the need for diversification and sustainability of economic growth in the country, it has the sense of emergency to solve problems of manufacturers in a way that can benefit all Nigerians.
Speaking during a facility tour of May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Fidson Pharmaceuticals Plc at Otta and Kimberly Clark Nigeria, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, said the Federal Government is serious and committed about resolving the challenges hampering on economic growth, adding “the main thrust of this government is basically to diversify this economy in a way that increases their local production.”
He said the only way to achieve this is to partner with industries, manufacturers, players in the private sector. “We are coming up with the reform to make the ports better, we are committed and we will reform.
The last meeting with the acting president was cut clear around trade borders, how do we eliminate all these check points and toll gates so that we will have a world class export facility.
That is why we want to work with companies in Nigeria and do everything possible to be able to export so you have a winning partner in us as a government. We want to see you exporting without tears” he said Managing Director, May & Baker, Dr. Nnamdi Okafor, lauded government’s effort in improving the country’s business climate through policies and the Executive Orders.
“Your presence shows you want to get first-hand information on challenges impeding the pharmaceutical industry. I must commend BoI because without the bank this company would be non-functional. We were able to access about one billion naira from the bank two years ago,” Okafor stated.
The Managing Director /CEO, Fidson Pharmaceutical, Mr. Fidelis Ayebae, said it is disheartening that in the Nigerian market 20 to 30 per cent of the drugs are fake. “When we discovered this, we were very worried and as a professional group, we are taking the show up. Right now we are in the process of getting NAFDAC very aggressively so that we don’t seem to throw up a very big noise.
The meeting will hold next week, we are worried because we know that life goes before business. For this, long term for us is to make medicines locally, the medicines are more reliable when made locally. We are taking this fight up and we have informed our members that once we finish engaging NAFDAC, we will make this a public issue” he said.
Nigeria imports $100m sugar annually—CBN
KANO—THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said, in May, that Nigeria spends $100 million on importation of white sugar annually.
Following this unfavourable trade deficit, Emefiele declared the readiness of the apex bank to partner the Nigeria-based Chinese investor, Lee Group, and Jigawa State government to the take-off of the multi-billion Naira white refined sugar cane factory that could generate N60 billion annually.
The CBN Governor, who spoke during the foundation laying ceremony of 12,000 hectres of land for the sugar cane factory in Garin Chiroma in Gagarawa Local Government Area of Jigawa State, noted that Nigeria had the potential to produce sugar for local consumption.
Emefiele commended the Lee Group for investing in sugar production in the country, adding that “by this initiative, you have helped in joining the Federal Government in ensuring that we achieve our goal of diversifying our economy.”
Speaking, Governor Mohammed Abubakar described the factory as an industrial complex designed to generate an all-season round employment, with over 15,000 workforce, just as 12 settlements had already been relocated and compensated.
On his part, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, said cultivation of sugar, rice, wheat, milk formed part of the 2017 budget, as crops to be used in generating foreign exchange.