The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has restricted the importation of sugar into the country to three companies, namely BUA Sugar Refinery Ltd, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, and Golden Sugar Company.
The apex which made the disclosure in a circular issued on Friday by its Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, with reference number TED/FEM/PUB/FPC/01/006, said the reason the three companies were the only ones allowed to import sugar into the country is because of their notable contribution to the backward integration program introduced by the Federal Government.
It added that henceforth, no company outside the aforementioned three should import sugar into the country.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria, under the National Sugar Development Council, established the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan to encourage and incentivize sugar refining companies in their Backward Integration Programme for local sugar production,” the bank said.
“Accordingly, the underlisted three companies, who have made reasonable progress in achieving backward integration in the sector, shall only be allowed to import sugar into the country: BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, Dangote Sugar Refinery Pic, and Golden Sugar Company.
“In view of the foregoing, authorized dealers shall not open Forms M or access foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market for any company including the three listed above for the importation of sugar without the prior and express approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria as the bank is charged with the mandate of monitoring the implementation of the backward integration programs of all the companies.”
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had said in April, that the bank planned to include sugar and wheat on the list of import items banned from accessing foreign exchange.
He had said, “We are looking at sugar and wheat. We started a program on milk about two years ago. Eventually, these products will go into our FX restriction list.”
Nigeria currently spends between $600m to $1bn on sugar importation annually