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Sugar War: NGO urges FG to resolve dispute amicably

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Sugar War: NGO urges FG to resolve dispute amicably

By Funmilola Gboteku

Advocacy for Integrity and Economic Development (AIED), an NGO, on Friday urged the federal government to amicably resolve the dispute between key players in the sugar industry, regardless of the strong positions of the parties involved.

Mr. Seun John, Director of Publicity for AIED, gave the charge in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

NAN reports that Dangote Sugar Plc, backed by Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, accused BUA International Limited of circumventing the National Sugar Development Council‘s (NSDC) upstream integration policy by establishing a sugar refinery in Port Harcourt.

The NGO noted that the media space has been inundated with reports of quarrels between the main players in the sugar industry, mixed with accusations of monopoly, bitter practices and lack of sincerity among the big players in the industry. .

The AIED official said the conflict needed the urgent attention of the federal government for an amicable resolution in the interests of Nigerians and to preserve the achievements of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

The NGO noted that the NSMP remained a flagship program that had helped transform the near-dead sugar industry into a powerhouse and made the import-dependent sector a sizable employer of labor and national pride.

“The federal government must provide the necessary leadership to preserve the achievements of this noble program which threw to the dustbin of history the locust years of simple local processing of sugar at 30,000 tonnes.

“The government can do this by ensuring that all industry players strictly adhere to the Upstream Integration Program (BIP) guidelines and, more importantly, the sincerity of the goal,” he said. -he declares.

John said that only a holistic approach to solving issues raised by stakeholders could really bring about the necessary change, and such an approach needs to take into account certain areas.

He explained that MDAs responsible for monitoring national policies must ensure and verify compliance with BIP and NSMP among industry stakeholders against the current system of self-declaration system adopted by the National Development Council of sugar (NSDC).

The director said there must be a correlation between establishing a sugar refinery and growing sugar cane when it comes to BIP quota regulation.

He noted that while refineries were essential, they do not help the value chain system that the NSMP was supposed to promote and that, as such, the application of BIP in such an enterprise endangers the approach. holistic self-sufficiency in the sugar industry.

“The importance of the issues raised above cannot be underestimated as they form the basis of the brewing of resentment in the industry.

He noted that allowing companies to self-report simply suggests that importers should self-report the number of goods they have brought into the country without proper confirmation and control by Nigerian customs officials. .

“We hope for the benefit of millions of Nigerians who now rely on the effective NSMP; the federal government will stand up to save the day, ”John said. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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