The Nation (Nigeria)

Sugar Council partners governors on host communitie­s

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TNational Sugar Developmen­t Council is partnering governors of sugar-producing states to stop hostility towards its producers in their communitie­s, its Executive Secretary, Zacck Adedeji has said.

Adedeji made this known at a briefing in Abuja, stating that the council would partner governors to ensure peace, stability and work-free environmen­t for the production of sugar in these states.

He said sugar production requires, which is among the reasons for partnershi­p with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is to know the kind of funding structure needed by the council for CBN interventi­on. The CBN has taken a step further to ensure all funding requiremen­ts are met through this special interventi­on, he added.

According to him, if the right fund he From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja ing is not there, it may be difficult to ensure smooth operation of sugar production which takes at least 10 years’ minimum of investment. Again, the council has problems evacuating imported equipment from the ports. The Ministry of Finance, and the Nigerian Customs are all working with the council to ensure a proper template in handling activities at the port. The collaborat­ion with customs and finance is timely.these problems have been identified and solution proffered, he said.

He complained about forex restrictio­n, stating that everything that has to do with sugar is 90 per cent imported. We are 95 per cent dependent on importatio­n, which requires forex. Logistics is another challenge. We have huge gap in skilled and unskilled labour to put into the vast land the operators have acquired.

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