Nigeria needs an additional ten years to produce the 1.7 million metric tonnes of sugar it needs annually to stop the flood of sugar imports, while also providing jobs, electricity, and ethanol for industrial use.
This information was provided to journalists yesterday during a briefing on the state of sugar production in Nigeria by Zacch Adedeji, Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC).
According to the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan [NSMP] phase, Adedeji stated that a total of 250,000 hectares would also be needed for cane cultivation. Additionally, 28 factories are anticipated to be built, and more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs are anticipated to be created over a ten-year period.
He bemoaned the fact that the sugar industry has significant obstacles to success due to a lack of foreign currency, production technology, the necessary land mass, and skilled labor.
The four enterprises are Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Sugar Refinery, Golden Sugar Refinery, and Kia Africa Group, he emphasized, adding that this is good news for the backward integration programme (BIP) of the NSMP.
He claims that these BIP operators have locations across the nation of Nigeria, where they employ Nigerians and boost the local economies of the areas they operate in.
‘’With the phase 1 of the master plan which began in 2013 reaching its crescendo in the first quarter of 2023, the Federal government in a rare show of commitment to its economic diversification policy through the promotion of industrialization has graciously approved Phase 2 of the policy with actual implementation to begin in 2023 through 2033’’, he said.
He noted, ‘’I am pleased to also announce to you today that we have two new investors who are set to come on board in a week or two from now and we are going to sign a Memorandum of understanding [MOU] between the Nasarawa State government and one of the investors, as well as another between the Oyo State government and the second investor. All the necessary policies and technology guidelines have been concluded. These new investors would focus on the field and agricultural aspect of the NSMP, which is the engine room of the master plan.”