NSDC boosts sugar production to generate foreign exchange

The Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council, Mr. Zacch Adedeji, said the council was implementing measures to make the Nigerian sugar sector globally competitive.

According to a statement, Adedeji said he would boost foreign currency in the country and create jobs in the country.

The NSDC boss said that through the implementation of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan, the council has attracted huge investment into the sugar sector under its backward integration scheme.

He said: “The Federal Government, through the National Sugar Development Council, is committed to building a globally competitive sugar industry that would stimulate the local economy, provide jobs for the young population of Nigeria and would position Nigeria as a net exporter of the product.

“We at the council are not resting on our oars in our resolve to revitalize the country’s sugar sector, as we have continued to come up with sound measures and strategies that would accelerate our drive to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar.

“In our determination to address the shortage of skilled indigenous labor and professionals to run the sugar industry, we have established the now famous Nigeria Sugar Institute in Ilorin, Kwara State.

“The institute has started training young Nigerian graduates in both field and factory operations through an exchange program with famous sugar institutes like the National Sugar Institute, Kanpur, India, as well as the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute, Mauritius.”

He added, “It is indeed gratifying to state here that Nigeria has since surpassed its sugar refining capacity, and our immediate plan of action as a forward-thinking government agency is to replicate the successes achieved in the field of refining in field operations, which we all know is at the heart of the retrograde integration program.

According to him, the council was working to boost local production of the commodity to meet local demand and possible export in the coming years.

He said: “At my last meeting with our main operators, we all agreed to focus more of our attention on the BIP component of the NSMP.

“So we decided to match words with actions, especially when it comes to meeting set goals and deadlines. We are racing against the clock and would accept no more excuses from our operators to fulfill their own end of the bargain.

“Sugar BIP was adopted as a special presidential project that involved renewed presidential interest, attention and oversight over the program.”

Rachel J. Bradford