*Records 18,000 jobs in three years
By Franklin Ocheneyi
“Mr Chairman, let me use this opportunity to once again call on interested members of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) to come to Nigeria and invest in the sugar sector. I want to assure prospective investors that the government policy of Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) currently being implemented, provides for investment friendly measures that make sugar production competitive and profitable.”
Dr. Latif Busari, Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) made this call when he briefed the international community about the progress made in the implementation of Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) in the first five years (2013 -2017) and plans for the second half, 2018 –2023 in order to ensure the realization of the national self-sufficiency goal within the 10-year plan period.
He also disclosed that about 18,000 jobs were created by the existing investors in the sugar industry from 2015 to 2017, and attracted nearly US$1.5 billion investments (about N540bn). This is expected to rise significantly as some of the on-going projects come on stream and the companies expand their operations.”
Addressing the 52nd Session of the International Sugar Council of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) in London, Busari said: “In the course of implementing the NSMP, modest achievements have also been recorded in the areas of number of sites earmarked for sugar projects.
“A total of 12 different sites have been earmarked while developmental work has commenced on 9 sites covering a total of 150,000ha. For instance, the Dangote Sugar Group has developed its own Sugar Master Plan and acquired 6 sites covering about 120,000ha of land in various locations for establishment of sugar projects. Several other investors notably the BUA Group, the Golden Sugar Company, a subsidiary of the Flour Mills Nigeria Limited, the Lee Group etc, have also acquired various sites covering another 30,000ha of land to be used for their sugar projects,” he said.