The Central Bank on Nigeria (CBN) has restricted the importation of sugar into the country to three companies- BUA Sugar Refinery Ltd, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, and Golden Sugar Company.
This was disclosed in a circular issued on Friday by CBN’s Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr Ozoemena Nnaji.
The CBN 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 programme 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 incentivise sugar refining companies in their Backward Integration Programme for local sugar production.
“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 forgoing, authorised 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 programmes of all the companies,” the circular read.
Recall that in April, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had said that the bank planned to include sugar and wheat on the list of import items banned from accessing foreign exchange.
“We are looking at sugar and wheat. We started a programme on milk about two years ago. Eventually, these products will go into our FX restriction list,” Emefiele had said.
Nigeria currently spends between $600 million to $1billion on sugar importation annually.