By AbdulSalam Muhammad
KANO—THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said, yesterday, that Nigeria spends $100 million on importation of white sugar annually.
Following this unfavourable trade deficit, Emefiele declared the readiness of the apex bank to partner the Nigeria-based Chinese investor, Lee Group, and Jigawa State government to the take-off of the multi-billion Naira white refined sugar cane factory that could generate N60 billion annually.
The CBN Governor, who spoke during the foundation laying ceremony of 12,000 hectres of land for the sugar cane factory in Garin Chiroma in Gagarawa Local Government Area of Jigawa State, noted that Nigeria had the potential to produce sugar for local consumption.
Emefiele commended the Lee Group for investing in sugar production in the country, adding that “by this initiative, you have helped in joining the Federal Government in ensuring that we achieve our goal of diversifying our economy.”
Speaking, Governor Mohammed Abubakar described the factory as an industrial complex designed to generate an all-season round employment, with over 15,000 workforce, just as 12 settlements had already been relocated and compensated.
On his part, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, said cultivation of sugar, rice, wheat, milk formed part of the 2017 budget, as crops to be used in generating foreign exchange.