The Federal Government has prohibited the importation of refined sugar and its derivatives from the nation’s Free Trade Zones (FTZs), in a bid to protect the sugar industry, which is governed by the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).
The prohibition move, which came through a directive from the Minister, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, was conveyed in a letter by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Lagos, sent to the terminal operators of the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa, Lagos. The NPA in a letter dated April 8, 2021, and titled: ‘Re: Prohibition of Importation of Sugar from the Free Trade Zones into the Nigerian Customs Territory’, was signed by Mr. Buba Jubril for the Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex.
The letter reads: “We have for reference a letter from Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment ref: HMIT1/GEN/ CORR/008/ VOL. I dated 15th February, 2021 on the above subject.
“It has recently come to our notice that due to the recent location of a Sugar Refinery in a Free Trade Zone, Refined Sugar is being imported into the Nigerian Customs Territory under the concession granted to enterprises in the FTzs to export 100 per cent of their output to the Nigerian Customs Territory, and this is real potential threat to the goals of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).
“The Nigeria Sugar Industry 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 Programme (BIP).”