The Federal Government’s bid to guarantee self-sufficiency, create jobs and increase wealth in the country has influenced move to increase investment in sugar development. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, expressed this at the mid-term review meeting of the Nigeria sugar master plan.
He said the backward integration policy of the federal government which began four years ago need to be consolidated in order to achieve the desired results. The sugar sector faces more challenges than cement industry but that the government is ready to engage and the next five years will see to a total turn around in the sector.
The Minister stated further that ‘Sugar has been challenging and we must overcome those challenges. This is part of the reasons why the acting President inaugurated the industrial council that would bring together leaders and players in both private and public sectors in order to boost industrialisation. We are resolute to partner with private sector to address these challenges. We are not only interested in discussing solutions but we are bent on implementation.
The Sugar Council Executive secretary, Dr. Abdullatif Busari highlighted concerns of the sugar master plan policy since implementation as well as insight into the preferred destination of the plan. He said it is expected that Nigeria will attain a zero percent importation of sugar by the time the policy reached its maturity of ten years, adding that Nigeria will be able to attain a 70 percent self sufficiency and even export to other African nations.
Dr. Busari said the only way to go is public/private partnership adding that the government will provide the enabling environment for stakeholders to operate.