The Federal Government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment has engaged major companies under the pioneer status of the National Sugar Master Plan on collaborative terms to curtail the rising price of sugar and improve the capacity of local sugar production in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka Anite after a tour of sugar companies.
The minister in a statement on Wednesday said the move is to maintain the price stability of the product, especially during the upcoming Ramadan period.
The PUNCH reports that the holy month of Ramadan, a time dedicated to fasting and praying by Muslims around the world, is scheduled to commence from March 10 to April 9, 2024.
Usually, during this period, the price of sugar and related consumables increases drastically due to the law of higher demand than supply.
Currently, a market survey shows that a 50kg bag of sugar sells between N60,000 to N62,000, depending on the area of purchase.
She said, “The issue of sugar pricing is essential as it affects almost every household in Nigeria and today, I saw firsthand, a standard of innovation and commitment to quality. We stand firm in ensuring stable sugar prices, crucial for Nigerians, particularly during Ramadan as well as forge ahead in creating a sustainable and flourishing sugar industry for all.”
According to the statement, the minister visited sugar producers such as Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, BUA Sugar Refinery Ltd, Flour Mills Limited, Bestaf Ltd, and Golden Sugar Company.
She further stated that the sugar refineries’ pledge is a clear demonstration of their alignment with the government’s efforts to bolster the agricultural sector for food security and pledged the full support of the government to the growth of the sector.
Anita also revealed plans of collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation to provide cutting-edge machinery and equipment to reduce importation and promote international standards.
“I have witnessed their dedication to high-quality sugar production. While commendable, our collective goal demands a higher standard.”
She acknowledged the industry’s effort to meet the demand for sugar consumption in the country while stressing the need for continued excellence and efficiency in production.
Addressing performance concerns during her visit to Golden Sugar Company, the Minister stressed that sub-par performance in the NSMP would not be acceptable.
“The sugar industry’s commitment to price stability during Ramadan exemplifies a synergistic relationship between the government and the private sector, working hand in hand to achieve common goals. This pledge by the sugar refineries, supported by the Federal Government’s resolve, is a reassuring step towards national development,” she added.
The PUNCH reports that the visit served as a strategic platform for the Minister to communicate the government’s unwavering stance on elevating performance standards within the sugar industry.