The National Sugar Masterplan’s second phase was authorized by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday. The 10-year plan is expected to save $350 million annually and generate 110,000 jobs.
Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, revealed this to State House Correspondents during the weekly FEC meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Adebayo, Nigeria anticipates saving $65.8 million on the import of ethanol and producing 400 megawatts (Mw) of energy in addition to the foreign exchange (forex) savings and job creation targets from the second phase of the masterplan.
Adebayo said that investments in national sugar policy were made in order to promote self-sufficiency in the commodity and that a minimum of 15,000 employment have been generated as a result key players in the industry.
The minister listed Dangote, BUA, Golden Sugar mills among key stakeholders jointly owning about 200,000 hectares of sugarcane plantation in the country.
“Today, my ministry brought a memo asking Council to approve the National Sugar Master Plan’s second phase. The first phase of the master plan for sugar, which runs from 2012 to 2022, was approved in 2012.
The Council decided to extend the deadline from 2023 to 2033 today. The Sugar Masterplan’s main goal is to grow the sugar sector and achieve sugar production self-sufficiency during the next ten years.
“The plan includes a number of legislative initiatives or financial rewards to boost demand and draw private sector investment to the sugar business. The local sugar industry contributes to the sugar masterplan’s advantages.
“Four significant investors are investing in the industry under phase one.
These are Dangote Sugar, BUA Sugar, Golden Sugar Company which is a flour mill, Care Africa Group which bought the Baccita sugar mill.
“They have jointly created 15,000 jobs, and they have over almost 200,000 hectares of land that has been acquired for the production of sugarcane to enable them to produce sugar locally. So Council approved phase two of the National Sugar Masterplan,” he said.
Speaking on the targets aimed at the second phase of the masterplan, Adebayo said: “The sugar masterplan has witnessed many successes since 2012 when it was first approved. Nigeria has a sugar refining capacity of three million metric tons of raw sugar a year now. We have embarked on the Backward Integration Project, which has attracted over $3 billion worth of investments from the four major investors that I mentioned earlier.
“Investments have also been made in Greenfield Sugar Projects that are smaller projects all across the country in Jigawa, Kogi, Zamfara, Oyo and Sokoto states. We’ve also established the National Sugar Institute in Ilorin.
“Those are some of the accomplishments we’ve made over the last ten years, and with the approval of Phase 2 of the Sugar Master Plan, we’re hoping to be able to generate 110,000 jobs as a result of it.
“We anticipate that Nigeria would be able to generate 1.7 to 1.8 million metric tons of sugar annually, saving us $350 million in raw sugar import costs.
“We plan to manufacture 161 million liters of ethanol yearly, which will cut down on ethanol imports by $65.8 million. We hope to produce 1.6 million tons of animal feed yearly, as well as 400 megawatts of electricity, he stated.
Speaking on mechanisms built to protect the flow of the masterplan, he said: “We have a two-tier monitoring and evaluation framework in place to stop any attempts to destroy the sugar masterplan. “We have what we call the Sugar Roadmap Implementation Committee (SURMIC) and this is a multi-agency committee, charged with supervision of the National Sugar Masterplan.
The CEOs of all the regional sugar producing enterprises make up the Sugar Industry Monitoring Group (SIMOG), another group that we have. Similar to a peer review committee, this. These committees are in existence to ensure that the sugar master plan is not distorted.
We can refine three million tons of raw sugar at this time. Phase two is enabling us to become self-sufficient in generating raw sugar in Nigeria, while the majority of the sugar we refine currently comes from imported raw sugar.