The Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Mr Zacch Adedeji is seeking the full implementation of a Zero-import duty incentive on machineries as contained in the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).
Speaking at a roundtable meeting with stakeholders on Tuesday in Abuja, Adedeji revealed that “the Council is daily receiving complaints and reports from operators on the hurdles they face with regards to importing machineries needed for both factory and field operations.
“The Council has dug deep into the matter with a view to finding lasting solutions to the issue. We had paid working visits to concerned agencies on the issue, but it appears our efforts have met a brick wall.
“Today, we have invited to this meeting ranking officials from the Nigeria Customs Service as well as other key stakeholders operating in our ports to know what the impediments are and proffer lasting solution to them” he stated.
He explained that Nigeria was consuming 1.7 million tonnes of sugar in a year with a production capacity of less than 50 percent of the total consumption rate.
” We need to cultivate 250, 000 hectares of land to attend self-sufficiency,” noting that the companies under the Backward Integration Programme (BIP), Dangote, BUA and Flour Mills sugar need government support to grow the industry and end importation of sugar.
” our sugar self-sufficiency drive is anchored on the Backward Integration Programme, which is to grow the local sugar sector to end the regime of importation of the commodity as it is presently the case.
“Machineries are important in achieving the objectives of the NSMP, hence the need to address hiccups associated with their acquisition and use” the ES added.
Also at the meeting, the Deputy Director of Tax and Policy with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Basheer Abdulkadir explained the workings of government standard procedures on Zero-import duty on machineries and why the BIP companies might have been having challenges fully accessing the waiver.
On his part, the Controller of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in charge of Trade, Anthony Ayalogu promised to be available to assist the BIP companies in clearing difficulties encountered when they import machineries.
He also asked the companies to do a full description of the machineries they have imported in order to avoid confusion.
The meeting was attended by representative of the BIP companies and other stakeholders in the sugar sector.
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