The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) has said delay in access to dollars is affecting its effort for optimal development of the sugar sector.
The Executive Secretary of NSDC, M. Zacch Adedeji, who made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja during a visit by a delegation from the Oyo State government, said with the country now self-reliant in sugar refining, strenuous effort is being exerted in production of raw sugar.
While stating that 1.7 million metric tons of the sugar are consumed annually and need 250,000 irrigated land to support local production of cane, he said Nigeria has the potential to fill the 11m metric tons of sugar imported into Africa once the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) is enforced.
“80 percent of sugar consumption in Nigeria today happens in three states; Lagos, Ogun and Oyo. If you look at the research, this is because of industrial consumption. It is in these places that we have companies like Cadbury, Nigerian brewery and the rest. So, the location where you have these factories is driving its consumption,” he said.
Adedeji said the agency is establishing a sugar cooperative in Iseyin, Oyo state which would produce 1,250 cane per day.
“Installation is 95 per cent completed. If not for the fluctuation we have in forex and delay, we would have commissioned it.”
Leader of the delegation and Director General, Oyo State Liaison Officer, Wale Ajani, said the visit was to seek ways the state government can attract investment in the state and areas it could intervene to help the council in surmounting challenges it is facing in the state.