-By Olufunke Afolami
Market competition for sugar production in Nigeria heightens as top producers battle for market share. Sugar is a commodity that has received increased attention in recent years and gives Nigeria $24.88 million revenue annually while output accounts for nearly 7% of local demand resulting in import approximately $100 million.
Consequently, the increase in sugar demand provides avenue for Nigeria businessmen who are now fighting over control of market share of the products. Dangote and BUA are the two major players in sugar production in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Nigerians believe monopolising the industry will not augur well for the nation as they advocate that other people should have license for healthy competition. The inherent danger that companies in dominance economic position may distort or eliminate competition in order to maximize profits to necessitate intervention of the government in form of policies regulations and laws.
In Nigeria, some of these laws are left unchecked making experts to believe that some companies mostly outweigh less financially buoyant firms creating monopoly in the process.
They asserted that in other climes, it is an offence to have monopoly in the industrial sector and government has to intervene to avoid it in business. The way other businesses are left for manufacturers, sugar should not be different. Many Nigerians have interests to invest to boost the economy.
It has become imperative for the laws to put a yard stick of acceptable trade processes that will be mutually beneficial for producers and consumers.
Sugar is a security commodity that cannot be handled with levity. If Nigeria fails to be self-sufficient in sugar, economic diversification of the country will suffer. Vested interests and cartels are the major stumbling block to business development in Nigeria hence the government should put a stop to monopoly as it portends capitalism. If the government allows only one company to either import or produce sugar in Nigeria, it will affect the people leading to arbitrary increase in price. It is a known fact that the escalating trade war among the two millionaires is yet to abate and implication is increasingly felt across the country with consumers always feeling the impact.