By Emmanuella Anokam
The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) says the Backward Integration Program (BIP) roadmap designed for the country’s sugar industry has the capacity to tackle unemployment and the socio-economic issues plaguing the country. the country.
He linked violent crime and insecurity to rising youth unemployment.
He noted that the sugar sector, as currently structured, could provide direct and indirect employment to millions of skilled and unskilled Nigerian workers.
“The sugar sector is a gold mine which holds many potentials and opportunities for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“It is a sector that has provided direct and indirect jobs to thousands of our citizens in all disciplines and professions.
“We are all concerned about the need to provide employment opportunities for our people, especially our young people.
“Unemployment is a major factor in the various social crises that we face today as a country.
“This is why the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to reorganizing the sugar industry to enable it to absorb the citizens and make a significant contribution to the economy and to the country in general,” a- he declared.
Adedeji, who assured investors in the sector of government support, in terms of policy and technical assistance, said Nigeria has done well in refining raw sugar.
He called for concerted efforts towards the full implementation of the upstream integration program for the sugar industry, which was crucial for Nigeria’s quest to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production.
“The federal government is serious and determined to achieve its objectives with regard to the sugar sector. We hope to be the biggest sugar exporter in Africa in the near future.
“To achieve this noble goal, we must all roll up our sleeves and prioritize our upstream integration agenda, which is the foundation of our mission as a government agency.
“Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced that it would soon start restricting access to foreign exchange to producers of some of the country’s raw materials, including sugar.
“This is clearly an indication that the government cannot continue to spend its scarce forex on things that we have all the resources to produce locally.
“Let us take this as a challenge and work to ensure that the policy of the PIF succeeds in the interest of our dear country,” he said.
The NSDC boss reiterated that he must take action that would make Nigeria a net exporter of sugar, thus saving scarce foreign exchange for other purposes.
“Let us integrate everything we do into a workable and achievable agenda for the proper functioning of the sector,” he added.
The familiarization visit of the new NSDC Executive Secretary to the Lagos sugar refineries should enable him to assess the level of compliance with regard to the implementation of the sugar master plan in Nigeria.
This concerns in particular the upstream integration program (BIP) undertaken by the trio Dangote Sugar Refinery, BUA Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar. (NOPE)
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