Nigeria spends over $100 million on the importation of sugar which can be locally grown, Godwin Emefiele , the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), revealed on Sunday.
According to Emefiele, sugar production is part of the bank’s core aspect of the anchor-borrower programme. He said in order to achieve the goal of diversifying the economy from oil to agriculture, the apex bank is prepared to partner with the Lee Group and the Government of Jigawa State to establish a multi-billion naira white refined sugarcane factory expected to generate N60billion ($190.7million) annually.
“We will support not only Lee Group; we will also support other little farmers that are involved in sugarcane planting so that as the farmers plant your sugarcane, the Lee Group can also buy them off the farmers. Through that means, we have provided jobs for our people; and we have increased the wealth of our people,” Emefiele added.
Also speaking on the matter, the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, noted that sugar, rice, wheat and milk cultivation have been included in the 2017 budget as crops to be used to generate foreign exchange for the agricultural sector.
According to USDA, Nigeria continues to be a large consumer of sugar. The country’s raw sugar imports as at 2016 stood at 1.7 million tons with Brazil being the largest raw sugar supplier to the country. Domestic sugar production was at 75, 000 tons, while local demand was estimated at 1.5 million tons.
Source: Black Sea Grain