Reps flays sugar import bill of $8.44bn, demands tariff hike

OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has frowned at the whooping sum of $8.44billion spent on importation of sugar in the last twenty seven (27) years.
To solve the challenge, the House urged the federal government to establish a sugar national plantation programme to boost production for local needs.
The House also urged the federal to issue regulations on sugar importation into the country with heavy duties to discourage importation of the products.
The decisions followed a motion brought by Mr. Ekanem Iboro (PDP, Akwa Ibom) who pointed that sugar was not just an industrial commodity, but a domestic commodity consumed almost on daily basis across the country.
He recalled that the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) was established to catalyze the development of the sugar industry with a view to ensuring that Nigeria attains at least 70% self-sufficiency in her requirement within the shortest possible time.
Acording to him, recent statistics does not show that the main objective of the NSDC is being achieved and there was a pressing need for further action, adding that if the present situation is left unchecked, Nigeria may continue to lose millions to importation of sugar.
“Nigeria has the potential, excellent climate conditions and the resources to engage in the production of sugar so as to establish a great deal of self-sufficiency in the sector,” he said.
The motion was unanimously adopted and referred to the committee on Industry to interface with the management of the NSDC to get updates on the current development of sugar in Nigeria and the status of implementation of the National Sugar Policy, and report back within four weeks (4) for further legislative action.
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