Sugar Council Reiterates Drive to Boost Foreign Exchange Inflows

James Emejo in Abuja

The Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, has said the council is currently implementing measures to unlock the full potential of the sugar sector to attract foreign investment and create jobs for Nigerians.

He said one of the strategies was to make the sector to be globally competitive under his administration.

Adedeji, in an interview, insisted that the sugar sector remained critical in unlocking the employment potential of the Nigerian economy.

He said through the implementation of the Nigerian Sugar Masterplan, the council had attracted huge investments into the sugar sector under the Backward Integration Programme (BIP).

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 revitalize 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.

According to him, “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.

“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.”

He also said the council is working towards boosting local production of the commodity to meet local demands and possible export in the years ahead.

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