The federal government has placed restrictions on importing refined sugar and its derivatives from Free Trade Zones (FTZs).
The ban followed through with the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) to protect the local sugar industry. The government said the importation is a real potential threat to the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).
The Nigerian Ports Authority communicated the ban to a terminal operator in the Lagos Port Complex, following a Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment directive.
Newsmen reported that Buba Jubril signed the letter from the ports authority for the port manager, Lagos Port Complex.
The document dated April 8, 2021, said, “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 a real potential threat to the goals of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).
It added, “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 is here prohibited by the honourable minister, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.”
Newsmen had earlier reported that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced plans by the government to cease providing forex to importers of sugar and wheat, adding the products to the list of restrictions made in 2015 that the regulatory body insists can be manufactured locally.