The Federal Government has prohibited the importation of refined sugar and its derivatives from the nation’s Free Trade Zones (FTZs) into the Nigerian Customs Territory.
The move is aimed to protect the sugar industry, which is governed by the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP). The NSMP provides a framework for motivating investment in the local production of refined sugar by securing the Nigerian Sugar market for investors in the Backward Integration Program (BIP). It does this by providing import sugar allocations for raw sugar to recognised investors based on the performance on the BIP and guided recognition of their installed refining capacity.
NSMP’s main objectives are to raise local production of sugar to enable the country to attain self-sufficiency; stem the tide of unbridled importation; create a huge number of job opportunities and contribute to the production of ethanol and the generation of electricity. With the provision of enterprises in the FTZs to export 100% of their output to the Nigerian Customs Territory, the government has termed it as a real potential threat to the goals of NSMP.
“In order to protect our national interest and ensure the returns in the Federal Government’s investment in the NSMP are realised, importation of refined sugar and all other sugar derivatives from the Free Trade Zones into the Nigerian Customs Territory is here prohibited.” To this end the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment
has issued a ban directive conveyed in a letter by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Lagos.