The Federal Government has prohibited the importation of refined sugar and its derivatives from the country’s free trade zones (FTZs). This development follows a dispute among Dangote Industries Limited, BUA Group, and Flour Mills of Nigeria. In a joint letter to Niyi Adebayo, minister of industry, trade and investment, Dangote Industries Limited and Flour Mills of Nigeria had claimed that BUA’s sugar refinery poses a threat to the local sugar industry and undermines the Nigerian sugar master plan (NSMP).
However, BUA fired back, saying Dangote and John Coumantaros, chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria, are calling to question the “authority of the president’s power and the diligence of the trade ministry. The minister issued the ban in order to protect national interest and achieve the goals of the NSMP, a policy road map for sugar production.This was made known in a letter by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to one of the terminal operators at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC), Apapa, Lagos.
The letter, dated April 8, was signed by Buba Jubril on behalf of the port manager, Lagos Ports Complex.
“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 free trade zones 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 letter read.