The Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Zacch Adedeji, has said Nigeria would attain self-sufficiency in sugar production by 2033.
Adedeji, who stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at a media parley, said in line with the expectations of Mr. President and Nigerians, the nation would attain self-sufficiency in sugar production and subsequently export to countries within the continent.
He noted that with the launch of the National Sugar Master Plan(NSMP), the once comatose, moribund and neglected sugar sector roared back to life as local and international investors picked interest in the sector.
“The sugar policy is anchored on four broads, but distinct cardinal objectives which are; for Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in sugar production, stem the rising tide of sugar importation, create job opportunities, generate electricity and produce ethanol for industrial purposes.
“As captured in the Master Plan, Nigeria’s annual sugar consumption of 1.7 million metric tons would be met after 10 years.
“A total of 250,000 hectares would be required for cane cultivation, 28 factories would be established and over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created for Nigerians.
“As of today, a total of four companies have signed unto the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) of the NSMP.
“The companies are Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Sugar Refinery, Golden Sugar Refinery and KIA Africa Group.
“These BIP operators have their sites located in states across Nigeria where there are providing jobs for Nigerians and contributing to the economic fortunes of their host communities.
“The Dangote Sugar Refinery has its BIP sites in Numan Adamawa state and in Tunga in Nasarawa state, while the BUA Group has hers in Lafiagi, Kwara state, Golden Sugar BIP is located in Sunti, Niger state while that of KIA Africa is in Bacita, Kwara State.”
According to him, “In a week or two from now, we shall invite you again to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Nasarawa state Government and one of the investors and another between the Oyo State Government and the second investor.
“All the necessary policy and technical 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 NSMP.