Nigeria opens first sugar institute to boost productivity, help attainment of self-sufficiency

NIGERIA – Nigeria has officially inaugurated the country’s first Sugar Institute to facilitate knowledge sharing within the sector, promote productivity which will enable it attain self-sufficiency in production of the commodity and assist the sustenance of the 2017 Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

The Nigeria Sugar Institute (NSI), located at Kwara state, will develop human resource to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the country’s sugarcane industry by offering regular refresher technical and management courses for staff of sugar companies as well as fresh graduates desiring to make a career in the sector.

“The objective of the NSI is also to conduct cutting edge research and development programmes that will underpin and catalyse the development of sugar industry; to tap new technologies and innovative approaches as they emerge for the benefit of the industry; and to do all such other things as may be considered incidental or conducive to the overall development of the sugar industry,” said Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Sugar Institute (NSI), Dr. Latif Busari.

The development of the institution was undertaken in collaboration with the government of India after the National Sugar Institute of India and the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last year, to benefit from India’s expertise.

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“The objective of the NSI is also to conduct cutting edge research and development programmes that will underpin and catalyse the development of sugar industry.”

Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Sugar Institute (NSI) – Dr. Latif Busari

The Minister of Industry, Trade Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo, speaking at the commissioning ceremony, reiterated the commitment of the federal government to partner with private and public sector investors in the sugar industry, in a bid to accelerate the nation’s economic growth.

“This commissioning is a landmark achievement and a testament to what public private partnership can achieve. The sugar industry holds a special place in Nigeria’s industrialisation struggle. It carries the expectation of creating over a 100, 000 jobs. The NSI is one of the key instruments for its sustainability.”

“The government therefore recognises the need to deepen the partnership with the private sector to drive access to skills development, research and development in a manner that promotes competition, productivity, profitability and sustainability in the sugar industry,” he added.

Still leveraging on the expertise of the country’s institutions of higher learning, the Federal Government has opened a yam storage facility at the Faculty of Agriculture, Nasarawa State University.

The facility which is targeted to promote the export of the commodity from the country, has a storage capacity of 45 to 50 metric tonnes of yam seed which can cover 16 hectares of land when planted.

The yam storage being within the university would add value to teaching, research and income generation for farmers in the state.

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