House Of Representative To Probe Concessionary Sugar Tariff



Image result for National assembly image

The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to investigate the concessionary tariff granted by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to sugar importers.

The low tariff enjoyed by the importers, according to the lawmakers, run into hundreds of billions of naira.

The resolution was a sequel to a motion by Rep. Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo-PDP).

Moving the motion, Agbonayinma said that in 2013, the Federal Government approved low concessionary tariff of five percent duty and 70 percent levy in the National Sugar Policy.

He said that the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) had revealed that some companies flouted the terms and conditions for obtaining a three-year low tariff for sugar importation into the country.

Agbonayinma explained that the high tariff for the importation of refined sugar was deliberately designed to discourage importation and encourage local production of sugar.

He said that the concession became necessary in order not to hike the local price of the commodity since the country had yet to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production.

“The government took the decision to approve the National Sugar Master Plan Policy because of the importance of the commodity.
“This is because as at 2013, Nigeria still depended on sugar importation to meet 90 percent of local demand, and in the realization that if sugar is to be imported at that high tariff, the cost will be excessively high.

“The concession was given to three companies that signed a commitment for Backward Integration Programme (BIP) with the Federal Government.

“The money saved from the concession is expected to be invested in their farms to cater for sugar being sourced locally.

“This is with the target that by 2018, the companies will be able to produce 700,000 metric tons of sugar locally from those farms, create jobs and diversify the economy from petroleum to agriculture,’’ he said.

Agbonayinma, however, recalled that in November 2015, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Abdullatif Busari, said that some companies had flouted the concession terms.

He said the grant of a low tariff to those companies was for them to put the savings from the concession into the BIP agriculture farms.

According to him, this is a move that will help the country to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production for domestic consumption and export.

The lawmaker expressed concern that the companies had nothing to show for the grants, in their farms over the three years they enjoyed concessionary low tariff running into billions of naira.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when it was put to a voice vote by the presiding Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun.

Consequently, the House resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate the issue, and said that the exercise would cover from 2013 to date as contained in the backward integration policy. (NAN)



Agriculture will take Nigeria out of Recession: VP Osinbajo



Speaking at the inauguration of the Multi-Billion Naira Agro Green House farm in Taraba State, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said that agriculture is the sector that will pull Nigeria out of the current recession as it has the potential to permanently take the country out of this economic situation.

He said that “the green house project I have seen today is a victory for science and technology in the development of agriculture in the country. It is one of the smartest ways of producing vegetables and with it, Nigeria would meet its vegetables needs and export to other African countries,”.

He added that agriculture is one of the major ways of creating quality jobs for the youths and this will help reduce youth unemployment.

The Agro Green House Farm project was initiated and constructed by Governor Darius Ishaku and the VP commended him for seeing this project through.

Governor Ishaku in his speech said that agriculture which is the backbone of the state, stating that Taraba State has the capacity to produce rice which will meet the demand for the whole nation.

He also went on to say that out of the entire 54,473km land mass of the state, 30,000 km is suitable for sugar and rice plantation and that the state government will require about N30 billion to achieve its objective in the production of rice.

The governor also said that the Green House Project is already supplying high-quality vegetables to major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Kaduna and has employed 500 agriculture graduates in the state.



Federal Government set to boost sugar production

Image result for Image OF SUgar

ref: AG Scientific

As a way to guarantee self- sufficiency and create jobs in the country, the FG has disclosed plans to increase the level of investment in the sugar industry in order to boost production levels.

This was made known by the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah in Abuja at the mid-term review meeting of the Nigeria sugar master plan.

According to Enalamah, the ministry needs to consolidate on the Backward Integration Policy (BIP) of the Federal Government which began four years ago, to meet the desired results of 70% self-sufficiency target in the next ten years.

He asked stakeholders in the sector to come up with functional and sustainable solutions to the sector’s challenge, hinting on private-public partnership (PPP). He also added that the government will provide the enabling environment for stakeholders to do business.

Dr. Abdullatif Busari who is the Executive Secretary of the sugar Council has the expectation that Nigeria will attain a zero percent importation of sugar by the time the policy has reached its maturity of ten years and that it will be possible for Nigeria to export to other African Nations.