The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) is implementing measures to make Nigeria’s sugar sector globally competitive, with a view to boosting foreign exchange and creating employment in the country, its Executive Secretary, Zacch Adedeji, has said.
According to the NSDC Boss, through the implementation of the Nigerian Sugar Masterplan, the council had attracted huge investments into the sugar sector under its Backward Integration Programme.
He said, “The Federal Government, through the National Sugar Development Council is committed to building a globally competitive sugar industry that would boost the local economy, provide jobs for Nigeria’s teeming youth population and position Nigeria as a net exporter of the commodity.
“We at the council are not resting on our oars in our resolve to revitalise the nation’s sugar sector as we have continued to come up with sound measures and strategies that would accelerate our drive to attain sugar self-sufficiency.
“In our resolve to address the dearth of qualified indigenous manpower and professionals to drive the sugar industry, we established the now famous Nigeria Sugar Institute in Ilorin, Kwara state.
“The institute has commenced the training of young Nigerian graduates both in field and factory operations through an exchange programme with famous sugar institutes like the National Sugar Institute, Kanpur, India as well as the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute, in Mauritius.”
He added, “It is indeed gratifying to state here that Nigeria has since surpassed its sugar refining capacity, and our immediate action plan as a forward-thinking agency of government is to replicate the successes achieved in the area of refining in field operations, which we all know is the heart of the Backward Integration Programme.”
According to him, the council was working towards boosting local production of the commodity to meet local demands and possible export in the years ahead.
He said, “In my last meeting with our major operators, we all agreed to focus more attention on the BIP component of the NSMP.
“So, we have resolved to match words with action, especially as it relates to meeting set targets and timelines. We are racing against time and would no longer entertain excuses from our operators on fulfilling their own part of the bargain.
“Sugar BIP was adopted as a special presidential project which implied a renewed interest, focus and oversight of the Presidency on the Programme.”