The federal government may release the new sugar import quota for sugar refineries in the country involved in the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) in the sugar sub-sector by January next year.
The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) said this following the conclusion of the review of the BIP implementation by its monitoring groups for the sugar refineries.
Executive secretary of the Council, Dr. Latif Busari, disclosed this at the weekend during the review of the council’s activities in 2017 and projections for 2018.
He however said that the Council would have to wait for the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari by January.
Busari noted that the 2018 sugar projections for the country was revised downwards by the council to 1.58 million metric tons from the 1.6 million metric tons initially projected in the Sugar Master Plan because of the attack on Savannah Sugar Plantation in Numan, Adamawa State.
The Council also said the metric tons would be distributed among the operators based on individual performance.
Busari said, “The attack on Numan happened on December 4, 2017, with the herdsmen destroying all the work that has been done in the three plantations. It is a very serious issue.
“There will be serious challenge in production if the Savannah issue is not resolved on time. About three fields in the savannah are already burnt”.
He further disclosed that other investors were coming on stream to help boost sugar production in the country.
“We have other investors coming in; two in Jigawa State and some in Edo. We also have some small sugar mills that are coming up. We call them mini plants and we have one currently in Oyo State and another in Sokoto State”, he said.
Busari said the Council is collaborating with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Customs and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in its efforts to check smuggling of sugar into the country.