By Kemi Olaitan
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has assured of its commitment to continue to fund 12 focal commodities that include cassava through its Commodity Development Initiative (CDI).
The Director, Development and Finance Department, CBN, Mr Yusuf Yila, gave the commitment during the inauguration of the first cassava-based Sorbitol factory in Africa, Psaltry International Company Ltd, located at Ado-Awaye in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State.
Yila who was represented by the Deputy Director in the department, Mr. Edwin Nzelu, said the initiative introduced in 2019, is aimed at conserving foreign exchange through import reduction, boosting local production, thereby closing the exiting supply gap of commodities with comparative advantage, as well as job and wealth creation, stating that it has enabled the bank to intervene across the value chain of several commodities from production to processing.
According to him, Psaltry was one of the beneficiaries of CBN’s CDI, noting that local production of cassava-based Sorbitol would help to strengthen the naira, reduce unemployment and over reliance on importation of the product which is a natural sweetener extracted from glucose that drives agricultural revolution.
He said, “Psaltry International Company Limited is a beneficary of the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS), one of the CBN’s interventions aimed at fast tracking development of the agricultural sector of the economy by providing credit facilities to commercial agricultural enterprises at a single digit interest rate.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Psaltry, Mrs. Oluyemisi Iranloye, said the company would create job for 10,000 youths in the community, adding that it would also indirectly impact on 100,000 people within 200 km radius to the factory covering more than 50 communities.
She added that the company would create pathway for aspiring entrepreneurs, aid financial institution on how they can play important roles in agricultural revolution and how the nation can reduce its dependent on other countries for survival.
She said, “The factory has capacity to produced 25 tons of sorbitol per day. CBN funded our first starch factory, which started production on January 26, 2012, and finished in 2013. Part of the funds was used to finance the community projects. From the funds, we invested immensely into enhancing the quality of the farmers’ agricultural produce. Quality is a key ingredient in the success of our company.”