Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, has reiterated federal governmentâ€™s commitment to a full scale implementation of her industrialisation plan through adequate support and collaboration with the organised private sector.
Â Enelamah who identified the sugar development sector as one of the prime driver of the economic diversification policy of the Buhari administration said government would provide enabling environment for players in the sugar sector towards achieving the goals of the National Sugar Master Plan.
He spoke on the occasion of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Revised Backward Implementation Programme (BIP) on sugar refineries between the federal government as represented by the National Sugar Development Council and consortium of investors; Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Group and Golden Sugar Company Limited which took place yesterday at the Conference Room of the National Sugar Development Council in Abuja.
He said through the industrialisation plan, government focus on local content development which will enhance consumption of what is produced locally, creation of jobs and reduction of unemployment and making life easier for the citizenry.
While saluting the courage of the partners involved in the project, he promised that federal government would continue to explore opportunities inherent in public- private-partnership in developing the economy, especially the industrial sector.
He urged the partners to adhere strictly to the letters of the agreement and achieve expected result of producing adequate sugar for local consumption in the country within the time frame.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council, Dr. Latif Busari, said the BIP of the refineries remains a major strategy for achieving the objectives of the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).
The revised BIP Busari said Â became necessary because of the low achievements in the BIP by the refineries in the first five years (2013 to 2018) as indicated in the report of the Mid-Term Review meeting.
Giving details of the summary of deliverables adduced from the submissions for the second phase (2018 to 2023), he said there would be eight project sites in all; three for Dangote Sugar Refinery, three for Golden Sugar Company and two for BUA, while the total land area for all projects is 187,000ha which is divided into, 137,070ha estimated cane fields and 25,850ha for outgrowers farms.
He added that the expected quantity of sugar to be produced is 1,550,524 metric tonnes and that a total of 65,805 seasonal, farm and factory jobs will be created by the projects.
Busari stated further that it was expected of the refineries to meet the targets within the stated timelines with the deployment of resources and necessary technical competences and that government on the other hand will address the identified constraints as appropriate and ensure their impact is minimised
â€œIt in this regard that I am appealing to all MDAs (especially members of the SURMIC) whose statutory functions impact on the NSMP, for their support and cooperation in the tasks aheadâ€, adding that the Executive Orders issued by the Acting President should guide the administration of the guidelines for the implementation of the NSMP so that there is a total compliance by the operators with the provisions o the NSMP.
The Executive Secretary said the Sugar Council had already developed monitoring templates for the next phase of the NSMP which will be made available to SURMIC and the Sugar Industry Monitoring Group (SIMOG) to facilitate their monitoring functions and keep pace with developments at the BIP sites.
Speaking on behalf of BIP operators, the Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery, Engr.Abdulahi Sule commended the commitment of the federal government as expressed in the ministerâ€™s speech.
He said the figures in the projects are achievable through the zeal and commitment of the sugar council.