The Executive Secretary of National Sugar Development Council, NSDC, Mr Zacch Adedeji says 200 billion Naira has been invested so far in all the Sugar Estates across the country.
Mr Adedeji made this known during the NSDC annual media parley in Abuja.
He said the Investment has led to the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs to sugarcane farmers and construction of factories for full operations.
According to him, the council is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to address the shortage of forex been faced by operators in the sugar sector and to ensure acquisition of basic infrastructures needed in the industry through financial support.
The Executive Secretary of NSDC, explained that a body known as Forum of Sugar Producing State Governors has been formed as part of strategies to address the perennial disagreement and clashes between host communities and sugar operators in sugar developing areas over land acquisition.
Mr Adedeji who stated that the Forum is headed by the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule emphasized that their major role is to help provide land for sugar projects in their respective states.
“In our resolve to also address the dearth of qualified indegenous manpower and professionals to drive the sugar industry, we established the now famous Nigeria Sugar Institute in Ilorin, Kwara State and the Institute has commenced the training of young Nigerian graduates both in field and factory operations through an exchange programme with famous sugar Instituties like the National Sugar Institute, Kampur, India as well as the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute in Mauritius” he stated.
M Adedeji said Nigeria has since surpassed its sugar refining capacity and the Council’s immediate action plan is to replicate the successes achieved in the arey of refining in field operation which is the heart of the Backward Integration Programme, BIP.
“We are keen about local production of the commodity to meet local demands and possible export in the years ahead and in my last meeting with our major operators, we all agreed to focus more on the BIP component of the National Sugar Master Plan, NSMP” M Adedeji pointed out.
The NSDC Executive Secretary who stated that the sector has always enjoyed the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, solicited the cooperation of all stakeholders to developing the nation’s sugar industry.
“Nigeria has all it takes to become a notable player within the global sugar circle and we have both the human and natural resources to achieve this feet because we’re committed to realizing all our set objectives in the sugar sector” he added