The Nigerian sugar industry is by no means young, having been first established in the 1960s. It can however be regarded to still be in its infancy given the fact that today, it only supplies about 2% of the nation's requirement, in spite of our comparative and competitive advantages for sugar production.
This lacklustre performance has deprived the country of all the benefits derivable from a vibrant sugar sector. Chief among these are the annual drain on the nation's foreign exchange earnings put at N101.9 billion in 2011, the loss of hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for skilled and semi-skilled labour and food insecurity arising from sugar import dependence. But all these are about to change now.
In 2008, the Federal Government of Nigeria directed the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), to develop a road map for the attainment of self-sufficiency in sugar within the shortest time possible. In compliance, the Council came up with the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan an abridged version of which is the main subject of this slim volume.
The Plan has estimated that our demand for sugar would breach the 1.7 million metric tonnes (MMT) mark by 2020. To be able to satisfy this from domestic production, we will need to establish some 28 sugar factories of varying capacities and bring about 250,000 hectares of land into sugarcane cultivation, over the next 10 years. The bulk of the investment capital will come from private investors.
Click here to read or download the NSMP in PDF forma