Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Minister of Industry, Trade Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo, has reiterated the commitment of the federal government to partner with private and public sector investors in the sugar industry, in a bid to accelerate the nation’s economic growth.
Speaking at the official inauguration of a multi-billion-naira Nigeria Sugar Institute located at Jimba-Oja town at Ifelodun local government council area of Kwara state recently, Adebayo said investments already made by the federal government and the private sector in the sugar industry were capable of creating over thousands of jobs in agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
He said, “The government therefore recognises the need to deepen the partnership with the private sector to drive access to skills development, research and development in a manner that promotes competition, productivity, profitability and sustainability in the sugar industry.”
The minister added that the present administration values the cooperation of private investors especially in sugar development, which according to him has set a pace in the bid to boost research and development and also to create Job’s for unemployed youths in the country.
Adebayo, who commended the Kwara state government and other stakeholders in the partnership for the support given to the ministry in actualising the project, pledged to meet expectations of the country in sugar development through sugar master plan.
Also speaking, the executive secretary of the Nigeria Sugar Institute (NSI), Dr. Latif Busari, said among objectives of the institute, was to develop human resource to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the Nigeria sugarcane industry.
Busari, who said the institute would ensure adequate capacity building and sustainability in the sugar industry, added that it would undertake regular refresher technical and management courses for staff of sugar companies as well as fresh graduates desiring to make a career in the sugar industry.
“The objective of the NSI is also to conduct cutting edge research and development programmes that will underpin and catalyse the development of sugar industry; to tap new technologies and innovative approaches as they emerge for the benefit of the industry; and to do all such other things as may be considered incidental or conducive to the overall development of the sugar industry”, he said.
Also speaking, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq pledged continued provision of conducive environment for industrial growth, in partnership with both federal government and private sectors in the country, for benefit of residents of the state.
The governor, who said the state has potential of providing enough sugarcane for sugar industries in the country and West Africa at large, added that the state had favourable soil and climate for cultivation and production of the agricultural produce in the state.
In his speech at the event, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, said the project was capable of advancing the course of developing Nigeria in line with the federal government’s aspiration of creating more capability and potentiality in sugar industry for rapid economic growth
“This is a mission well-accomplished because it will further boost industrialisation and investment in sugar production as well as create platforms for job creation and eradication of youths restiveness in our society,” he said.
He commended the federal government over the actualisation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the National Sugar Institute (NSI) of India and the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) of Nigeria recently.