NSDC seeks governors’ support to revitalise sugar sub-sector
The National Sugar Development Council is soliciting the support of governors of sugar-producing states across the country for the revitalisation of the sub-sector.
It emphasised that the plea has become necessary more so that the guidelines for the implementation of Phase 2 of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan require the inputs of critical stakeholders like state governors for its success.
NSDC Executive Secretary, Zacch Adedeji, made the appeal at the weekend when he led a delegation from the National Sugar Development Council on a courtesy visit to the Governor of Nasarawa state and Chairman, of the Forum of Governors of Sugar Producing States, Sule Abdullahi in Lafia,
Adedeji said state governors as landlords of sugar projects in their respective domains, have contributed to the modest success so far recorded in the industry.
While commending the Forum of Governors of Sugar Producing States for creating a safe and enabling environment for sugar operators to go about their business activities without hitches such as perennial disagreements over land ownership between host communities and operators, communal hostilities and other associated challenges, the NSDC boss noted that the Forum has also contributed to the peace enjoyed across communities hosting sugar projects across states.
Recall that the Federal Government had in 2013 begun the implementation of a 10-year master plan to revamp the sugar sector.
However, the first phase of the plan is expected to end in the first quarter of 2023.
Speaking on the current status of the master plan, Adedeji said given the importance of the sector to Nigeria’s economy, and the considerable success recorded in the last 10 years, President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved phase 2 of the master plan, which is expected to run for another 10 years beginning from 2023.
On challenges encountered by BIP operators and plans put in place by the Council to address them, Adedeji said, “We have listened to them in their separate presentations during our meetings in the last week. They outlined a number of challenges confronting them. As you know, Nigeria is part of the global system.
“So, the delay identified in some areas was explained based on the scarcity of forex, the ongoing war in Ukraine and many other external factors which have slowed down their pace of progress on their sites. But we commend their efforts and their commitment towards making sure that our dreams and goals for the sugar sector are realized”.