Nigerian Raw Sugar Imports Gulp N580.8bn

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Nigerian firms backed by Federal Government’s Backward Integrated Programme (BIP) have taken delivery of raw sugar valued at N580.8 billion ($1.61 billion) within one year.

Brazil accounted for 84.4 per cent or N351.4billion ($702.8 million) of the N417.1billion ($834.2 million) total raw sugar supply to the country in 2020.

This is coming after investment of N250 billion through Federal Government’s Backward Integration Programme (BIP) initiated in 2012 failed to yield expected fruits.

The Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), which is a 10-year blueprint designed to revitalise the sector and make the country a net exporter of the commodity, has missed its target as Brazil increased sugar export to Nigeria by 65 per cent from $458.9 million in 2019 to $702.8 million in 2020.

Also, China is struggling to grab 4.5 per cent or $37.2 million of the total supply to Nigerian market within the period.

According to Trade Data Monitor (TDM) data, Brazil’s cumulative raw sugar export to Nigeria in 2020/21 season was 1.62 million tonnes, while domestic cane sugar production has slumped from 75,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes by about 6.7 per cent within one year.

The country had projected to meet 800,000 tonnes target of raw sugar production by 2022 as demand by the food and drink manufacturing and retail markets is on the increase, but there is fear that Nigeria would not meet up to five per cent target.

Data from National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) revealed that in 2016, local production of refined sugar was 25,000 tonnes; 2017, 20,184 tonnes; 2018, 14,918 tonnes and 2019, 28,597 tonnes, thereby, leading to massive importation.

In August 2021 alone, six vessels called at the Lagos Port Complex’s terminals with 286,040 tonnes of sugar, valued at N66.8 billion ($133.6 million).

Data by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping position revealed that at Apapa Bulk Limited Terminal Limited (ABTL), Desert Grace and Desert Harrier came with 52,800 tonnes and 52,800 tonnes respectively as current price of sugar stands at $467 per tonne.

It noted that four vessels also offloded 181,340 tonnes of the commodity at Greenview Development Nigerian Limited (GDNL).

Also, Sweetlady III berthed at the port with 46,985tonnes; Hyde, 43,375tonnes, Gelico, 44,180 tonnes and Eleoussa, 47,000 tonnes.

Despite the huge expenditure on the commodity, the Executive Secretary of National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Mr Zacch Adedeji, explained that Nigeria was recording steady progress in the implementation of its sugar policy.

Under the BIP programme, the existing industry players are Dangote Group, BUA Group and Flour Mills.

According to Adedeji, seven years into the policy, more investors have expressed willingness to commit more resources into the sector, noting that a new investor, KIA Group Africa, had completed the process of acquiring the defunct Nigeria Sugar Company (NISUCO) in Bacita, Kwara State and had since commenced work.

He said that the new owner had set its eyes on producing at least 300,000 metric tonnes of  sugar cane by refining an estimated 204,000 metric tonnes of the commodity, thereby generating N46 billion revenue by 2027.

It would be recalled that between 2016 and 2020, the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), through the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), introduced a 10 per cent duty and additional 80 per cent levy for raw sugar; 20 per cent duty and 85 per cent levy for refine sugar imports.

Also in 2019 and 2020, refined sugar attracted 10 per cent duty, 30 per cent levy raw sugar imports.

In addition, part of the incentives to boost domestic production of sugar include: a five-year tax for investors in the value chain; 10 per cent import duty and 50 per cent levy on imported raw sugar; 20 per cent duty and 60 per cent levy for imported refined sugar.

Also, Federal Executive Council had in 2012 approved the NSMP for implementation and adoption as a government strategy roadmap for the development of the sugar sub-sector.

– New Telegraph

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