Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in sugar is not feasible by 2020
Importation of raw sugar from Brazil to Nigeria has dropped by 58 within the last five years from N280.7 billion ($769.17 million) to N162.8 billion ($446.2 million)
However, importation from China between 2017 and 2018 increased by 16.1 per cent from $26.9 million to $32.07 million.
Already, the country has invested N157 billion in sugar sector under Federal Government’s Backward Integration Programme (BIP) in order to create 114,000 jobs and produce 1.7 million tonnes of sugar annually.
Data obtained from international trade statistic portal on Nigerian imports indicates that in 2014, the country imported some raw sugar valued at $769.17million; 2015, $565.52 million; 2016, $732.9 million; 2017, $540.57 milion and 2018, $446.17 million.
Raw sugar imported from China in 2014 was $30.96 million; 2015, $10.63 million; 2016, $17.34 million; 2017, $26.91 million and 2018, 32.1 million.
This year, importers have ordered for some 1.89 million metric tonnes of raw sugar because of the dwindling local production estimated at 80,000 tonnes.
However, the total sugar production under the National Sugar Master Plan between 2013 and 2019 stood at 505, 000 metric tonnes.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping position revealed that the Lagos Port Complex alone had taken delivery of some 935,000tonnes of sugar valued at N109.7 billion ($300.46 million) in the last six months.
The imports were discharged at Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) and Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL) between February and June 2019
Statistics provided by the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) also revealed that global price of the commodity had reached $321.35 per tonne as at September 2019.
The Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr Latif Busari, had explained that the country was currently producing only five per cent of its total demand, while it depends on importing the rest.
The Council’s objective was to boost domestic production of sugar to attain self-sufficiency by 2020, but currently, the country was able to meet only 4.96 per cent or 80,000 tonnes of the projected sugar production.
The Federal Government’s Nigerian Sugar Master Plan, which started in 2013, aims to achieve local sugar production level of about 1.7 million metric tonnes by 2023.
Government had in 2012 said that no sugar would be allowed to come into the country from 2019 but the country was unable to meet the projected 1.66 million metric tonnes of the commodity under the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).
In the plan, government introduced 20 per cent import duty and 75 per cent levy on refined sugar in 2019.
Parz of the incentives to boost domestic production of sugar include a five-year tax for investors in the value chain; 10 per cent import duty and 50 per cent levy on imported raw sugar; 20 per cent duty and 60 per cent levy for imported refined sugar.