There have been debates among consumers regarding what brand of sugar leads the pack in terms of quality and value for money. To the unacquainted user, all table sugar is sugar, without any distinguishing factor, since they all take the form of white shiny crystalline grains. But this is a little off from reality.
All sugars are not created equal. The product distinction starts from its primary raw material and ends in its application. Depending on such applications, some perform better, or are more beneficial than others.
How they make their sugar
Sugar can be made from two main raw materials. Cane sugar (or sugar cane), and beet sugar (a variant of the beet root plant). To an extent, this is where the two of the well-known brands in Nigeria – St Louis Sugar and Dangote Sugar– differ.
Cane sugar is a grass that stores sugar in its stalk. It grows mostly in tropical or warm countries. Being a grass, it grows above the ground and is exposed to sunlight and fresh air.
Sugar beet, on the other hand, is a root plant, meaning that it grows deep under the ground, and in the dark. Its root is fleshy and rich in saccharose, containing an average of 16% to 20% natural sugar. It grows mostly in cold regions like Europe.
Thus, the raw material used to obtain the final product depends on the location of the manufacturer, and its proximity to the raw material source.
Cane vs Beet
- European manufacturers mostly utilize beet in the production of sugar for two main reasons: Beet is more readily available in large quantities on the continent because of the climate, and is very cheap.
- Secondly, the use of cane sugar is discouraged in Europe through the imposition of tariffs on its importation, while the use of sugar beets is promoted in order to protect its own farmers and local industry.
- However, a specific quota of cane sugar imports from strictly developing countries is allowed duty-free into the EU (to encourage developing countries), allowing producers such as Saint Louis Sucre to import cane sugar for the manufacture of cane sugar products.
But due to the EU’s Sugar policy, cane sugar producers are having a tough time. Saint Louis Sucre, in 2015, planned to cut down on its cane refining operations due to the uncompetitive nature of cane compared to beet. Cane is refined in 2 processes, while beet requires only 1 process.
Beet is used in about 80-85% of European sugars, while cane sugar accounts for the remaining 15-20%. On the contrary, globally, sugarcane accounts for 80% of the sugar produced in the world; the majority of the remaining 20% is made from sugar beet.
The implication of this is that the widely popular St Louis sugar, which is made in France but imported into Nigeria by the Milan group, and Indian family business, is very likely made from sugar beets, while Dangote sugar, as well as the other local brands, are made from cane sugar. Dangote Sugar owns cane sugar plantations through its subsidiary Savannah Sugar in Kogi state, as does BUA.
Does this have any implication on the quality of the final product?
To most retail users who use sugar to sweeten their foods and liquids, there isn’t a detectable difference. It is for this segment of users that the saying “all sugar is sugar” applies.
Due to this undetectable difference, most beet sugar producers do not attempt to label the product to say if it is made from beet or cane. But most cane producers would proudly say that their product is made from cane because it takes more effort to refine cane sugar.
In fact, it is said that if a bag or box of sugar is not labeled “pure cane sugar” or “100% cane sugar”, then you are probably buying a product that contains beet sugar.
However, for those that use sugar for cooking, baking pastries and confectionaries and for other culinary uses, an important distinction exists, which makes a very significant difference in the quality of their final product.
One of the differences between the two products for this set of users is that cane caramelizes (turns to caramel) very beautifully, while beet burns and turns blackish. Also, products made from beet, end up having coarse texture, while cane products smooth and spongy. Generally, it is said that confectionary products made with cane sugar are superior to those made with beet sugar.
It’s all down to the money
For the retail user, it all comes down to the value for money option. Since most people can’t distinguish between the difference, they may rely on the size of their pockets when choosing a brand. Nigeria discriminates against imported refined sugar in order to boost its local production in Nigeria. Imported refined sugar faces a 35% tariff while raw sugar to be refined locally faces a 5% tariff. Local refiners also get a 5-year tax break. This makes local brands more affordable and ultimately more demanded than the imported alternatives. Currently, a 500-gram pack of St Louis Sugar sells for N370, while a similar pack for Dangote sugar sells for N250.
The proportion of beet in Nigeria’s market right now is not as large as cane. However, this might be set change this year, when an embargo on European sugar exports is lifted in October.
Beet sugar is cheaper, and given the proximity of Europe to West Africa, it might make more financial sense for refiners to start using beet – that is, ignoring any technological hurdles. Also, depending on whether government ban stay up, we may increasingly see the influx of beet sugars.
Exchange Rate Unification: CBN devalues official rate to N380/$1
The CBN has devalued the official exchange rate for the second time this year.
Information on the website of the central bank reveals the CBN has adjusted the official exchange rate to N380/$1 from N360.1/$1. The adjustment occurred on Thursday August 6th 2020.
This suggest the CBN may have unified the exchange rate in line with the promise made by Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In the data seen by Nairametrics, the Central Bank priced the official exchange rate as follows;
Buy- N379 (N360)
Central – N379.5 (N360.5)
Sell – N380 (N360.1)
There were no official press releases explaining the reason for the devaluation or adjustment as the central bank likes to call it. This is now the second devaluation of the official exchange rate after the rate was adjusted from N307 to N361 on the 20th of March 2020. The CBN has also adjusted the exchange rate for the SMIS window.
READ MORE: IMF list unpopular policies CBN must reverse
Exchange Rate Unification?
In June, the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele assured investors in June that the CBN will unify the exchange rate around the NAFEX rate in line with the conditions of the world bank.
“We will continue to pursue unification around the NAFEX Market”. Emefiele
However, this has taken longer that required and may have resulted in the postponement of a planned world bank meeting where an approval of the initial $3 billion loan from the world bank would have been obtained in September and October for the Federal and State Governments respectively.
One of the conditions for the disbursement of the loan was a unification of the exchange rate which most analysts believe the CBN has dithered on for months.
Nigeria’s exchange rate at the NAFEX closed at N386/$1 on Friday a N6 premium from the Central Bank’s buy rate. However, this is closer when compared to the N26 disparity when the exchange rate was N360/$1.
The latest adjustment however indicates this could be the CBN’s biggest move yet at exchange rate unification as the rate is closer to if not the same with the N380/$1 announced in July for the SMIS window.
World Bank debacle
The World Bank committee working on the loan was meant to present to their board on August 6th 2020 but it appears this has now been moved to a latter date. Critics suggest this may have been due to the delay to meet conditions precedent to granting the initial $1.5 billion loan some of which incudes the $1.5 billion loan.
“The amount we are raising in the first instance is $1.5 billion for FG and around September October we are hoping to close out on the facility meant for states and the amount is meant to be $1-1.5 billion.” Ahmed
According to Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance Nigeria was raising “in the first instance is $1.5 billion for FG and around September October we are hoping to close out on the facility meant for states and the amount is meant to be $1-1.5 billion.” The implication of the delay in obtaining the loans suggest states banking on the world bank facility will not have to wait beyond October should the world bank refuse to reconvene next week.
How new CAMA 2020 will enhance SMEs’ ease of doing business
President Buhari recently assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020.
The new Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 is expected to enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The new document has repealed and replaced the extant CAMA 1990 with key amendments that would remove some bottlenecks from the old act.
The revised Act will make Nigeria’s business environment as competitive as its counterparts around the world.
Back story: Nairametrics had reported when President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020, which was recently passed by the National Assembly.
He explained that some innovative processes and procedures were included in the new document to ease the operations of companies. Some of them are the introduction of Statements of Compliance, which replaced “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies.
Provisions that aid ease of doing business:
* Provision of single-member/shareholder companies- Section 18 (2) of the new CAMA now makes it possible to establish a private company with only one member or shareholders.
* Restriction on multiple directorship in public companies- S.307(1) of the Act frowns at a person from being a director in more than five (5) public companies at a time.
* Appointment of Company Secretary now optional- Going forward, the appointment of company secretary for private company is optional. According to Section 330 (1) of the new CAMA, the appointment is only mandatory for public companies.
* A Director can’t hold the office of a Chairman, CEO – According to Section 265 (6), private firms are now restricted from appointing a director to hold the office of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
* Procurement of Common seal not mandatory – Contrary to the previous document that insisted that every company must procure a Common Seal, CAMA 2020, according to Section 98, states that most jurisdictions around the world have expunged the requirement from their laws.
* Concept of Limited Liability Partnership and Limited Partnership – The new act combines the organisational flexibility and tax status of a partnership with the limited liability of members of a company.
* Virtual AGMs – New act made provision for virtual annual general meetings (AGM), provided that such meetings are conducted in accordance with the Articles of Association of the company. This is expected to facilitate participation from any location at minimal costs.
* SMEs exempted from appointing auditors – Small companies or any company with a single shareholder are no longer mandated to appoint auditors at the AGM to audit their financial records.
— Jumoke Oduwole (@joduwole) August 7, 2020
Why it matters:
Nigeria is largely dominated by Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs). Making registration easier for them brings in more businesses into the formal space. This also enhances tax revenue for the government.
The Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) was promulgated in 1990 to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 8th of August 2020, 453 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 46,140 confirmed cases.
On the 8th of August 2020, 453 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,903 samples across the country.
To date, 46,140 cases have been confirmed, 33,044 cases have been discharged and 942 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 314,632 tests have been carried out as of August 8th, 2020 compared to 310,729 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 8th August 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 46,140
- Total Number Discharged – 33,044
- Total Deaths – 942
- Total Tests Carried out – 314,632
According to the NCDC, the 453 new cases were reported from 20 states- FCT (75), Lagos (71), Benue (53), Delta (39), Borno (30), Enugu (25), Plateau (24), Osun (20), Abia (19), Oyo (17), Kaduna (16), Kano (13), Ebonyi (13), Ogun (9), Kwara (7), Ondo (6), Gombe (3), Ekiti (2), Akwa Ibom (1) and Rivers (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 15,768, followed by Abuja (4,376), Oyo (2,860), Edo (2,376), Rivers (1,939), Kano (1,622), Delta (1,596), Kaduna (1,566), Ogun (1,439), Plateau (1,421), Ondo (1,284), Enugu (905), Ebonyi (851), Kwara (833), Katsina (746), Borno (682), Abia (644), Gombe (629), Osun (625), and Bauchi (576).
Imo State has recorded 476 cases, Benue (409), Nasarawa (367), Bayelsa (346), Jigawa (322), Akwa Ibom (235), Niger (226), Adamawa (185), Ekiti (161), Sokoto (154), Anambra (142), Kebbi (90), Zamfara (77), Taraba (72), Cross River (68), Yobe (67), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
|Date||Confirmed case||New cases||Total deaths||New deaths||Total recovery||Active cases||Critical cases|
|August 8, 2020||46140||453||942||6||33044||12154||7|
|August 7, 2020||45687||443||936||6||32637||12114||7|
|August 6, 2020||45244||354||930||3||32430||11884||7|
|August 5, 2020||44890||457||927||17||32165||11798||7|
|August 4, 2020||44433||304||910||14||31851||11672||7|
|August 3, 2020||44129||288||896||8||20663||22570||7|
|August 2, 2020||43841||304||888||5||20308||22645||7|
|August 1, 2020||43537||386||883||4||20287||22567||7|
|July 31, 2020||43151||462||879||1||19565||22707||7|
|July 30, 2020||42689||481||878||5||19270||22541||7|
|July 29, 2020||42208||404||873||5||19004||22331||7|
|July 28, 2020||41804||624||868||8||18764||22172||7|
|July 27, 2020||41180||648||860||2||18203||22117||7|
|July 26, 2020||40532||555||858||2||17374||22300||7|
|July 25, 2020||39977||438||856||11||16948||22173||7|
|July 24, 2020||39539||591||845||12||16559||22135||7|
|July 23, 2020||38948||604||833||20||16061||22054||7|
|July 22, 2020||38344||543||813||8||15815||21716||7|
|July 21, 2020||37801||576||805||4||15677||21319||7|
|July 20, 2020||37225||562||801||12||15333||21091||7|
|July 19, 2020||36663||556||789||11||15105||20769||7|
|July 18, 2020||36107||653||778||6||14938||20391||7|
|July 17, 2020||35454||600||772||3||14633||20049||7|
|July 16, 2020||34854||595||769||9||14292||19793||7|
|July 15, 2020||34259||643||760||6||13999||19500||7|
|July 14, 2020||33616||463||754||10||13792||19070||7|
|July 13, 2020||33153||595||744||4||13671||18738||7|
|July 12, 2020||32558||571||740||16||13447||18371||7|
|July 11, 2020||31987||664||724||15||13103||18160||7|
|July 10, 2020||31323||575||709||20||12795||17819||7|
|July 9, 2020||30748||499||689||5||12546||17513||7|
|July 8, 2020||30249||460||684||15||12373||17192||7|
|July 7, 2020||29789||503||669||15||12108||17012||7|
|July 6, 2020||29286||575||654||9||11828||16804||7|
|July 5, 2020||28711||544||645||11||11665||16401||7|
|July 4, 2020||28167||603||634||6||11462||16071||7|
|July 3, 2020||27564||454||628||12||11069||15867||7|
|July 2, 2020||27110||626||616||13||10801||15693||7|
|July 1, 2020||26484||790||603||13||10152||15729||7|
|June 30, 2020||25694||561||590||17||9746||15358||7|
|June 29, 2020||25133||566||573||8||9402||15158||7|
|June 28, 2020||24867||490||565||7||9007||14995||7|
|June 27, 2020||24077||779||558||4||8625||14894||7|
|June 26, 2020||23298||684||554||5||8253||14491||7|
|June 25, 2020||22614||594||549||7||7822||14243||7|
|June 24, 2020||22020||649||542||9||7613||13865||7|
|June 23, 2020||21371||452||533||8||7338||13500||7|
|June 22, 2020||20919||675||525||7||7109||13285||7|
|June 21, 2020||20242||436||518||12||6879||12847||7|
|June 20, 2020||19808||661||506||19||6718||12584||7|
|June 19, 2020||19147||667||487||12||6581||12079||7|
|June 18, 2020||18480||745||475||6||6307||11698||7|
|June 17, 2020||17735||587||469||14||5967||11299||7|
|June 16, 2020||17148||490||455||31||5623||11070||7|
|June 15, 2020||16658||573||424||4||5349||10885||7|
|June 14, 2020||16085||403||420||13||5220||10445||7|
|June 13, 2020||15682||501||407||8||5101||10174||7|
|June 12, 2020||15181||627||399||12||4891||9891||7|
|June 11, 2020||14554||681||387||5||4494||9673||7|
|June 10, 2020||13873||409||382||17||4351||9140||7|
|June 9, 2020||13464||663||365||4||4206||8893||7|
|June 8, 2020||12801||315||361||7||4040||8400||7|
|June 7, 2020||12486||260||354||12||3959||8173||7|
|June 6, 2020||12233||389||342||9||3826||8065||7|
|June 5, 2020||11844||328||333||10||3696||7815||7|
|June 4, 2020||11516||350||323||8||3535||7646||7|
|June 3, 2020||11166||348||315||1||3329||7522||7|
|June 2, 2020||10819||241||314||15||3239||7266||7|
|June 1, 2020||10578||416||299||12||3122||7157||9|
|May 31, 2020||10162||307||287||14||3007||6868||7|
|May 30, 2020||9855||553||273||12||2856||6726||7|
|May 29, 2020||9302||387||261||2||2697||6344||7|
|May 28, 2020||8915||182||259||5||2592||6064||7|
|May 27, 2020||8733||389||254||5||2501||5978||7|
|May 26, 2020||8344||276||249||16||2385||5710||7|
|May 25, 2020||8068||229||233||7||2311||5524||7|
|May 24, 2020||7839||313||226||5||2263||5360||7|
|May 23, 2020||7526||265||221||0||2174||5131||7|
|May 22, 2020||7261||245||221||10||2007||5033||7|
|May 21, 2020||7016||339||211||11||1907||4898||7|
|May 20, 2020||6677||284||200||8||1840||4637||7|
|May 19, 2020||6401||226||192||1||1734||4475||7|
|May 18, 2020||6175||216||191||9||1644||4340||7|
|May 17, 2020||5959||388||182||6||1594||4183||7|
|May 16, 2020||5621||176||176||5||1472||3973||7|
|May 15, 2020||5445||288||171||3||1320||3954||4|
|May 14, 2020||5162||193||168||3||1180||3815||4|
|May 13, 2020||4971||184||164||6||1070||3737||4|
|May 12, 2020||4787||146||158||6||959||3670||4|
|May 11, 2020||4641||242||152||10||902||3589||4|
|May 10, 2020||4399||248||142||17||778||3479||4|
|May 9, 2020||4151||239||127||11||745||3278||4|
|May 8, 2020||3912||386||118||10||679||3115||4|
|May 7, 2020||3526||381||108||4||601||2818||4|
|May 6, 2020||3145||195||104||5||534||2507||1|
|May 5, 2020||2950||148||99||5||481||2370||4|
|May 4, 2020||2802||245||94||6||417||2291||2|
|May 3, 2020||2558||170||88||2||400||2070||2|
|May 2, 2020||2388||220||86||17||351||1952||2|
|May 1, 2020||2170||238||69||10||351||1751||2|
|April 30, 2020||1932||204||59||7||317||1556||2|
|April 29, 2020||1728||196||52||7||307||1369||2|
|April 28, 2020||1532||195||45||4||255||1232||2|
|April 27, 2020||1337||64||41||0||255||994||2|
|April 26, 2020||1273||91||41||5||239||994||2|
|April 25, 2020||1182||87||36||3||222||925||2|
|April 24, 2020||1095||114||33||1||208||855||2|
|April 23, 2020||981||108||32||3||197||753||2|
|April 22, 2020||873||91||29||3||197||648||2|
|April 21, 2020||782||117||26||3||197||560||2|
|April 20, 2020||665||38||23||1||188||466||2|
|April 19, 2020||627||86||22||2||170||436||2|
|April 18, 2020||541||48||20||2||166||356||2|
|April 17, 2020||493||51||18||4||159||317||2|
|April 16, 2020||442||35||13||1||152||277||2|
|April 15, 2020||407||34||12||1||128||267||2|
|April 14, 2020||373||30||11||1||99||263||2|
|April 13, 2020||343||20||10||0||91||242||2|
|April 12, 2020||323||5||10||0||85||228||2|
|April 11, 2020||318||13||10||3||70||238||2|
|April 10, 2020||305||17||7||0||58||240||2|
|April 9, 2020||288||14||7||1||51||230||2|
|April 8, 2020||274||22||6||0||44||226||2|
|April 7, 2020||254||16||6||1||44||204||2|
|April 6, 2020||238||6||5||0||35||198||2|
|April 5, 2020||232||18||5||1||33||194||2|
|April 4, 2020||214||5||4||0||25||185||0|
|April 3, 2020||209||25||4||2||25||180||0|
|April 2, 2020||184||10||2||0||20||162||0|
|April 1, 2020||174||35||2||0||9||163||0|
|March 31, 2020||139||8||2||0||9||128||0|
|March 30, 2020||131||20||2||1||8||121||0|
|March 29, 2020||111||22||1||0||3||107||0|
|March 28, 2020||89||19||1||0||3||85||0|
|March 27, 2020||70||5||1||0||3||66||0|
|March 26, 2020||65||14||1||0||2||62||0|
|March 25, 2020||51||7||1||0||2||48||0|
|March 24, 2020||44||4||1||0||2||41||0|
|March 23, 2020||40||10||1||1||2||37||0|
|March 22, 2020||30||8||0||0||2||28||0|
|March 21, 2020||22||10||0||0||1||21||0|
|March 20, 2020||12||4||0||0||1||11||0|
|March 19, 2020||8||0||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 18, 2020||8||5||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 17, 2020||3||1||0||0||0||3||0|
|March 16, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 15, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 14, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 13, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 12, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 11, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 10, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 9, 2020||2||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 8, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 7, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 6, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 5, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 4, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 3, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 2, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 1, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 29, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 28, 2020||1||1||0||0||0||1||0|