FG Pledges Concession To Sona Group, Others

FG Pledges Concession To Sona Group, Others

The Federal Government has pledged to support the backward integration drive of Sona Group, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing groups of companies, in its attempt to foster economic growth in the country.

The Minister of State for Commerce, Industry & Trade, Hajia Aisha Abubakar disclosed this at the company’s inauguration of its new production lines at Ota, Ogun State recently.

She said that the federal government was determined to drive growth in the manufacturing sector through its programme on Ease of Doing Business and other initiatives which would help address the challenges which Sona Group and other players are facing.

She explained that there is no point why Sorghum, for example, should still be imported into the country despite the large local production base of Sona Group.

In her words, “We will address some of the challenges which your sector is experiencing by providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. We are, indeed, addressing them in the various policies which we have come up with it, financing being a main issue in the sector; and we are prepared to address it. Currently we are working on addressing the Sorghum challenge; there is no good reason for it to be imported based on what l have seen today. In the shortest possible time you will experience a relief in your line of business as government is building linkages across sectors”.

Sona Group of Industries, on its own part, urged the Federal Government to ban the importation of sorghum; barley and biscuits into the country. This, it pointed out, would help boost the manufacturing sector.

Furthermore, the group urged the government to reverse the 20 per cent custom duty on ethanol, and also put in place a preferential rate for lending, pointing out that no industrial concern can survive on the 15 per cent charged by the Bank of Industry (BoI).

According to the Group Managing Director of the group, Mr.AjaiMusaddi, “Government should increase tariff on imported biscuits as we are self-sufficient in it besides the miserly 5 per cent duty on imported plastics and pallets including sorghum should be discouraged. Except government takes this bold step the local industries will be endangered due to unhealthy competition.”

Musaddi added that importing products where the country has competitive advantage will not allow the local industries to thrive and it will eventually affect economic growth.

Revealing the company’s self-sufficiency drive, the Group Chief Operating Officer of the Group, Mr. Ashok Manghnani said, “We produce a vast range of quality products including quality malted sorghum, malt extract, maltose syrup, glucose syrup a substitute for imported sugar. The products are key inputs in breweries, biscuits manufacturing, confectionery& pharmaceutical companies as well as other food and beverage industries. Our fully automated plant can produce 25,000 tons of malt extract, high maltose syrup and raw sorghum. There is therefore the need for government to increase the tariff from the 5 per cent which it currently charges to discourage importation as we are comfortably self-sufficient in these raw materials”.

Sona Group of Industries is a diversified conglomerate. It provides high-value Business-to- Business and Business-to-Consumer (B2B & B2C) products and solutions.

The Group parades subsidies like Euro Global Foods and Distilleries Ltd, Food, Agro & Allied Industries Ltd, Shongai Packaging Industry Ltd, Coronation Real Estate Development Ltd, Coronation Power & Gas Ltd, Techblow Nigeria Ltd, Shongai Technologies Ltd, Sona Industrial Gases Ltd and Sona Agro Allied Foods Ltd.

 

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