Nigeria targets $350m yearly, 110,000 jobs from enhanced sugar production
• Okays N580m armoured vehicles for NDLEA
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, approved the second phase of the National Sugar masterplan, a 10-year plan to save $350 million yearly and create 110,000 jobs.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, told newsmen after the weekly meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the State House, Abuja, that Nigeria also looks forward to saving $65.8 million on ethanol import and generating 400 megawatts of electricity.
He said investments in national sugar policy are to stimulate self-sufficiency in the commodity, adding that no fewer than 15,000 jobs had been created through players in the industry.
The minister disclosed that Dangote, BUA, Golden Sugar Mills and key stakeholders are owning roughly 200,000 hectares of sugarcane plantation in the country.
His words: “Today, my ministry brought a memo seeking Council’s approval for the second phase of the National Sugar Masterplan. In 2012, the first phase was approved, lasting from 2012 to 2022.
“Today, Council approved the extension from 2023 to 2033. That is for another 10 years and the whole idea of the sugar masterplan is for the development of the industry for self-sufficiency.
“The plan has several policy measures or fiscal incentives to stimulate demand and attract private sector investment in the sugar industry. Part of the benefits of the sugar master plan is the local production of sugar.
“We have, under phase one, four major investors investing in the industry. They are Dangote Sugar, BUA Sugar, Golden Sugar Company, which is Flour Mill and Care Africa Group, which bought Baccita Sugar Mill.
“They have jointly created 15,000 jobs and have almost about 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 restated.
FEC also approved N580.50 million for the purchase of four armoured vehicles for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who made the disclosure, proceeded to cite a recent feat by the agency’s operatives where the men and officers bust a drug racket in Lagos, recovering N194 billion worth of cocaine from an Ikorodu warehouse.
He expressed fears that the recent gains following the renewed war against drugs would, however, prompt reprisals on NDLEA from drug barons, hence the decision of the authorities on the armoured equipment.
He said the government was pleased with the successes being recorded by the NDLEA whereby the men arrested 18,940 suspects and secured 2,904 convictions between January and July this year.
Elaborating, Malami explained that the 14-seater vehicles would take about 16 weeks to deliver.