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The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to take immediate steps to discourage the importation of sugar into the country.

This followed a motion by Rep. Iboro Ekanem (Akwa Ibom-PDP) at the plenary on Thursday on the need to regularise the importation of sugar, while boosting domestic production and economic growth.

Ekanem said billions of naira was being lost to sugar importation annually.

He said: “The House notes that Nigeria has spent 8.44 billion dollars in importing sugar over the last 27 years, and loses at least 600 million dollars annually to the importation of sugar for domestic consumption.”

According to Ekanem, the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) was established to catalyse development of sugar industry, ensuring the country attains at least 70 per cent self-sufficiency in sugar requirement within the shortest time possible.

The Committee on Industry was mandated to interface with NSDC for update on sugar importation and the implementation of National Sugar Policy.