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Nigeria retains interest in Benin Republic’s sugar company

(R-L) Nigerian Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum exchanging the newly signed documents with the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Republic of Benin, Ms. Shadiya Assouman. Photo: Patience Olumati

The Federal Government says it is committed to the progress of Onigbolo Cement and Save Sugar Companies in the Republic of Benin for the economic growth of both countries.

Minister of State, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum made this known in Abuja during the Ministerial Session and Signing of Resolutions and Communique of the 26th Ordinary Session of the Joint Supervisory Authority (JSA) on the two enterprises by Nigeria and Republic of Benin.

“The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has been directed by His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari to ensure that the Nigerian Government maintains an interest in Save Sugar Company while at the same time encouraging private investments into the enterprise.

“This is to guarantee infusion of financial resources and repositioning of the enterprise for better performance”, the Minister stated.

She revealed that the enterprises have experienced mixed fortunes over the years, leading to the full privatisation of the two government stakes.

The Minister also said the lease agreement governing the management and operations of Save Sugar Company will expire in May 2023, stating that it is expedient on the part of both governments to re-strategise on ways to enhance the fortunes of the enterprises in the future.

Ambassador Katagum emphasised that the representatives of governments should redouble efforts to guarantee delivery of the objectives and desires of their respective Governments, adding that, this would sustain the aspiration of the founding fathers.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Republic of Benin, Ms. Shadiya Assouman who led the delegation, acknowledged the goodwill of President Muhammadu Buhari in strengthening the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.

Nigeria owns 43 percent shares in Onigbolo Cement Company and a 46% stake in Save Sugar Company both located in the Republic of Benin.

Reporting by Patience Olumati; editing by Muzha Kucha