Reps indicts trade ministry, corporation over sugar imports

OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has queried the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) over what it calls its inability to ensure that the nation achieve self -sufficiency and create employment in the sugar industry.
This was the position of the House’ ad-hoc committee investigating concessionaire tariff given by the Ministry of Trade and Investment for sugar importation into the country from 2013 to 2016.
Chairman of the committee, Olasupo Abiodun (APC, Oyo), further queried the ministry of trade and investment and the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) for failing to wield the big stick against companies who have failed in their duties as stipulated in the Backward Integrated Policy (BIP) of government.
“The essence of this policy is for us to be self sufficient in sugar production and we having been doing the same thing for five (5) yet we are not self sufficient then let’s walk away”, he said.
Responding, the Executive Secretary of the Council, Latif Busari, who cited floods, communal disputes amongst other as challenges militating the full functionality of the three companies signed into the concessionaire plan, also admitted to its failure in wielding the big stick against the companies.
The committee also accused the companies of not living up to their responsibilities as stated in the concessionaire agreement on the BIP, adding that they lack the capacity to meet up with the terms and conditions of the agreement they signed.
However, Mr. Ibrahim Yaro of Bua Sugar Refinery refuted the claims by the committee, he said they were very much prepared and ready to deliver on their mandate and requested for the committee to visit their sugar plantation site and see for themselves what they have done.
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