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Nigeria to Stop Some Sugar Imports to Boost Local Production

Nigeria will end imports of packaged sugar from Jan. 1 to boost local investment and achieve self sufficiency in production of the sweetener, the National Sugar Development Council said.

Imports of machinery for local sugar refineries won’t be subject to tariffs, Lateef Busari, executive secretary of the council, said in an e-mailed statement today from Abuja, the capital. Investors in domestic processors and “sugarcane-to-sugar value chains” will get a five-year tax holiday, he said.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with more than 160 million people, spends $10 billion annually importing rice, wheat, sugar and fish, according to the Agriculture Ministry. The West African nation plans to reduce imports and boost domestic food production by 20 million metric tons by 2015.

Imports of raw sugar for refining will be approved by President Goodluck Jonathan only on recommendations from the Trade and Investment Minister, Busari said.

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