Group Executive Director of BUA Group and pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Sugar Institute, Kabiru Rabiu, has advised the Federal Government to replicate the NSDC in the rice sub sector and other food industry sectors with growth potential.
Rabiu made this suggestion during the commissioning of the Nigeria industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (Industrial Council) in Ilorin, Kwara State.
According to Rabiu, NSDC’s supervisory and coordination role in the sugar industry has been highly beneficial and is a model that should be replicated in other sectors. Currently, the NSDC coordinates the activities of the Nigerian Sugar sector through monitoring of the backward integration and import substitution programme that has seen significant investments in various Cane-to-Sugar projects by private operators in the industry.
Kabiru Rabiu, who was a pioneer Chairman of the NSI where he led the implementation committee for the Institute, expressed happiness that the institute had finally seen the light of the day.
He also stressed the importance and benefits of the institute on the sugar subsector in reducing the skills gap in the industry and attaining better technologies and techniques in sugarcane production and processing. It should be noted that Kabiru Rabiu first recommended the establishment of the institute during a Nigerian Industrial Council meeting chaired by Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in 2018.
Speaking directly to the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investments, Otunba Niyi ADEBAYO who was launching the institute, Rabiu noted that whilst so much intervention and successes have been made in the rice sub sector, a lot more could be done through the introduction of a single coordinating body like the NSDC that can help the government in formulating policies and monitoring progress for Rice. This will help Nigeria move faster towards attaining adequate rice production, processing whilst reducing prices and boost competition.
In his remarks on the sugar institute, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo while stating that the Federal Government was ready to partner with private investors in sugar production in the country, said that investment already made by the apex government and the private sector in the industry was capable of creating thousands of jobs in agriculture and manufacturing sectors. On his part, the Executive Secretary of NSDC, Dr. Latif Busari, said that the newly commissioned Nigeria Sugar Institute (NSI) in Ilorin, Kwara State would aid the ongoing drive towards achieving a virile and competitive sugar industry for the country. NSDC added that the institute would also fill the current void in critical areas of Nigeria’s sugar industry such as research, development and innovation as well as technical manpower development to sustain the industry development.
Also speaking, Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq pledged that his government will continue to create an environment for industrial growth, in partnership with both the Federal Government and the private sector for the benefit of residents of the state. The governor said the state has the potential of providing enough sugarcane for sugar industries in the country.