‘Border closure has helped local producers increase market share’
Though the closure of the land borders may have had unintended consequences for genuine businesses, it has also helped local manufacturers expand their market share in the country and fill gaps hitherto occupied by smuggled goods.
Providing insights on the effects of border closure which is expected to end hopefully on Friday, the Group Executive Director, BUA Group, Kabiru Rabiu, explained that the closure of the borders has not only helped to check the volume of smuggled products into the country, but also helped local producers increase their market share.
He however urged the Federal Government to improve the quality of infrastructure and operations at the nation’s ports in order to improve Nigeria’s export market.
According to him, the border closure equally affected export to neighbouring countries as a result of inefficient port operations.
In a chat with journalists on Monday, Rabiu also restated BUA’s committed to meeting and exceeding its backward integration plan targets with the Sugar Council.
He said the plan will aid the reversal in a practice where over 90 per cent of the nation’s sugar consumption is imported by 20 per cent at the initial stage, till the country is self-sufficient in sugar production.
“Since we started this project, we have not relented in putting together the most sophisticated sugar plantation project in Nigeria till date. In addition to milling and refining of sugar, we are also investing in ethanol production and power generation from bagasse”, he added.
The backward integration plan, Rabiu said, will see BUA improve irrigation at its 20,000-hectare Lafiagi Sugar plantation using Artificial Intelligence and highly sophisticated irrigation and mapping technology from Netafim to determine the irrigation and water application needs of different areas and soil types in the plantation.
“As at today, construction of the sugar mill at the plantation has started. Upon completion, this Lafiagi sugar plantation will be able to produce over 1.8 million tons of sugarcane yielding about 250,000 tonnes of white refined sugar, 20 million litres of ethanol, employ over 10,000 people and generate some 35 MW of electricity every year.
“We are also creating an ecosystem where we are involved in the entire value chain whilst partnering with out-growers and the Lafiagi community as a whole”, Rabiu added.
No comments yet