Nigeria’s raw sugar imports dropped to 800,000 tonnes from 1.4 million tonnes recorded in the first quarter of 2013, an official document states.
According to a statement from the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), signed by Dr Latif Busari, the Executive Secretary of NSDC, it states that refined sugar imports dipped from 1.88 per cent in 2012 to 0.67 per cent in 2013.
It adds that local price of sugar fell from N9,000 per 50kg in 2012 to N6,950 in 2013, representing a decrease of 23 per cent.
The document states that total national demand for sugar rose from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to two million tonnes in 2013.
It adds that sugar smuggling was virtually non-existent as refinery capacity utilisation rose from 60 per cent to 75 per cent.
The document attributes the successes to the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) launched in January, 2013.
The NSMP, which has a 10-year implementation period, aims to produce 1.79 million tonnes of sugar; 161.2 million litres of ethanol and 411.7 MW annually.
Other deliverables of the plan are 1.6 million tonnes of animal feeds annually, 37,378 permanent jobs and 79,803 seasonal jobs.
In addition, the country expects to save between 350 million dollars and $500 million annually in foreign exchange on sugar imports.
The NSCD document states that so far, the number of sugar project sites in the country has increased from six in 2012 to 17 in 2013.
The document states that the proposed $2bn investment in projects across six states by the Dangote Group will produce between one million tonnes and 1.5 million tonnes of sugar annually.
It further states that Kenana Technical Services has substantially expanded its Savannah Sugar at Numan, Adamawa, from 6,500 hectares to 21,000 hectares by 2018 to produce 100,000 tonnes annually.
“FMNL/GSR through its Adeco Agric Group is to produce 60,000 tonnes of sugar annually from its 13,500 hectares arm in Sunti, Niger State, by 2018.
“Also, HoneyGold Group through its subsidiary, Costas Negocios, is to invest $300m on two sites in Adamawa State to produce 200,000 tonnes sugar annually,’’ it said.
According to the document, Crystal Sugar Mills has announced plans to invest 30 million dollars in expansion of its operations to produce 60,000 tonnes per annum by 2018.
“Confluence Sugar Company is poised to invest $240 million to produce 200,000 tonnes sugar/annum on about 37,000 hectares at Ibaji in Kogi State,’’ it said.