Industry & Commerce

Refined sugar, derivatives importation banned from FTZ 

A ban has been placed on the importation of refined sugar and its derivatives. The Federal Government took the step up to attain the goals of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

 The government warned that it has become an offence to import processed sugar following the establishment of a sugar refinery within a Free Trade Zone (FTZ).

 The prohibition came through a directive from Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Otunba Niyi Adebayo and sent to the Terminal operators of the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa, Lagos.

 It was conveyed in a letter by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Lagos,

 The memo, dated April 8 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.

 It 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 Free Trade Zones to export 100% 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 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.

 “Your terminal is hereby informed by this letter that, in order to protect our national interest and ensure the returns in the Federal Government’s investment in the NSMP are realised, and in line with extant laws and regulations of the Federal Government of Nigeria, importation of Refined Sugar and all other sugar derivatives from the Free Trade Zones into the Nigerian Customs territory are here prohibited by the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment,” the NPA letter stated.

 “In view of the above, your terminals are by this letter directed to ensure strict compliance with this directive. Please accept as always the assurances of our esteemed regards

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