FG, Sugar Refinery Operators Sign Revised Edition of Backward Integration Programme (BIP)

The Federal Government and representatives of major sugar refineries in Nigeria today signed the revised edition of the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) for the sector in Abuja.

The revised BIP plan which is expected to run for five years, contains strategies, plans and programmes that would ensure as well as fast-track the attainment of the BIP component of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

Speaking today at the Signing Ceremony, the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah lauded the idea, stressing that it will guide government and other stakeholders in the sugar sector on the steps to take in achieving quicker results in the sector.

Dr. Enemalah who stressed the need for the BIP Operators to remain committed to the guidelines contained in the revised edition of the BIP, urged them to be transparent and sincere with regards to the provisions of the BIP.

In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Latif D. Busari, said the BIP of the refineries remains a major strategy for achieving the objectives of the NSMP, adding that government will ensure that the new guidelines for BIP Operators which have been circulated are adhered to.

Dr. Busari said, “It is in this this regard that I am appealing to all MDAs, (especially members of the SURMIC) whose monitoring and other regulatory statutory functions impact on the NSMP, for their support and cooperation in the tasks ahead”.

On how to ensure compliance, Dr. Busari said, “The Sugar Council has already developed monitoring templates for the next phase of the NSMP. These templates 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 the BIP Operators, the Managing Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Engr.  Abdullahi A. Sule while commending the idea, called on the Federal Government to address challenges such as community hostilities and lack of access to land which according to him are capable of stalling progress in the sugar sector.

He pledged the support and cooperation of other BIP Operators, and assured that they will comply with all the guidelines contained in the revised edition.