01 February 2021 by MATHEW AYOOLA
Minister of Industry, Trade and investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo has described the setting up of Nigeria Sugar Institute as a great legacy of the Buhari administration aimed at promoting research and skills development in Nigeria.
The Minister who spoke at the inauguration of the institute in Ilorin, Kwara State said the institute was a landmark achievement and a testament to what public-private partnership can achieve.
According to the Minister, the sugar industry holds a special place in Nigeria’s industrialization story.
He said the Institute would provide cutting-edge research and development programmes that would catalyze the development of the sugar industry, enhance its viability, competitiveness, and sustainability.
Adebayo further explained that the Institute would facilitate dissemination, extension, adoption, and commercialisation of its R&D activities; and develop the human resources required to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the sugar industry.
In a remark, the Executive Secretary of the National sugar Development Council, Dr Latif Busari said the institute is a critical enabler for implementation of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan, NSMP, embodying three backup pillars that would support the drive for a virile and competitive sugar industry which includes, Research, Development & Innovation; Technical Manpower Development; and Provision of clean and pure seed cane for growers, all based on the most advanced technologies available.
“As the industry Regulator, the Council may no longer directly engage in R&D or capacity development. Indeed, our enabling law requires the Council to utilize the sugar levy to only support these critical activities”. Busari stated.
According to him, this is what the Institute has been doing within the constraints of available funds.
“Going forward however, this institute is to be largely funded and managed by the sugar operators. It is a unique experiment in public-private sector collaboration to advance research and capacity development for the industrial sector in Nigeria, and all stakeholders owe it to Nigerians to ensure its success” He explained
The Executive Secretary reiterated that all the R&D as well as capacity development functions which the Council used to carry out in collaboration with other partners are now to be handled directly by the institute, with the Council’s support.
He lauded the contributions of the Minister towards the realisation of the institute, saying the Minister demonstrated a strong support for the development of the sugar industry in general and establishment of NSI in particular.
Earlier, Governor Abdulrazak and the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Zulu Gambari praised the Minister for siting the institute in the state, pointing out that the institute would remain a legacy of purposeful servce for the people of the state.