The Federal Government has signed a five-year pact with Dangote Sugar, BUA Sugar and Golden Sugar for the second phase of the Backward Integration Plan (BIP) for the sugar industry.
At the signing ceremony held in Abuja yesterday, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Latif Busari, said the second phase of the BIP implementation would run from 2018 to 2023.
Busari said within the implementation period, the three BIP participants would develop eight new sites; Dangote Sugar three, BUA two and Golden Sugar three.
The project sites are expected to cover 187,000 hectares with 137,070 hectares for sugarcane and 25, 850 hectares for outgrower farms.
The NSDC boss said the three companies are expected to produce 1.56 metric tonnes of sugar and create 65, 805 jobs.
The BIP participants signed on to the commitments in exchange for sugar import quotas over the period, but the quotas are expected to diminish over the years as the country attains self-sufficiency.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, pledged to work with the BIP participants in the process of the implementation.
He said despite the low performance of the BIP participants at the first half of the implementation of the plan, the Federal Government was optimistic that the companies would perform better in the second half.
“We are much focused to ensure that it is easier for people to do business in Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the BIP participants, the Managing Director of the Dangote Sugar, Abdullahi Sule, expressed their committed to the implementation of the pact.
Sule called on the government to partner with the companies to mitigate challenges that they are likely to encounter, including community resistance and environmental issues.
Source: Daily Trust