‘Sugar self-sufficiency plan will be driven by technology, data’
The 2023 sugar self-sufficiency plans will be driven by modern technology and data, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Zacch Adedeji has said.
Speaking at the official take-off of the Nigeria Sugar Institute (NSI) in Ilorin, Kwara state, yesterday, Adedeji said 2023 remains significant in the history of the Council as it marks the end of the implementation of the National Sugar Masterplan (NSMP) Phase I and the commencement of NSMP Phase II.
The NSI was primarily established to conduct research, develop modules for training professionals in the sector as well as serve as the main training hub for stakeholders in the sugar sub-sector of the Nigerian economy.
Adedeji said: ‘Without mincing words, research, data and technology are critical ingredients required to build a sugar sector that would place Nigeria among the comity of leading sugar producers within the continent.
“It was in the realisation of this irrefutable fact that the Council thought it wise to commit both human and material resources which gave birth to this institute. I salute the foresight and vision of my predecessors who began the entire process in the first place,” the NSDC boss said.
According to him, NSDC under his watch remains “committed to putting in place programmes, policies and innovations that would accelerate Nigeria’s drive to attain self-sufficiency in sugar production through faithful implementation of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).”
The Federal Government had in 2012 approved a 10-year master plan for the sugar sector known as the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan.
The plan is anchored on four major objectives which are; for Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in local sugar production, stem the rising tide of sugar importation, create job opportunities through the setting up of sugar estates and refineries as well as to generate electricity and production of ethanol for industrial purposes.
On the NSI, the NSDC CEO said: “This is the training and development arm of the National Sugar Development Council. We have on ground trained professionals across various areas in the sugar business that would be saddled with the responsibility of imparting knowledge and training experts within the sector.
“We are equally calling on major sugar operators to henceforth bring in their workers here for training both on factory and field matters. The institute has put in place all the needed manpower and facilities to meet the training needs and aspirations of sugar companies and factories.
“ Also, this institute provides direct jobs for over 100 Nigerians and indirect jobs to members of the community hosting it. I wish to also stress that the citing of this institute has brought development and turned around the economic fortunes of members of the host community.”
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