‘Nigeria imports N30bn ethanol despite growing cassava’



By Umar Bayo Abdulwahab
Ilorin

A consultant on Biofuel,Dr. Bamidele Ololade has decried the under utilization of Nigeria ‘s agricultural  resources particularly, cassava, lamenting that the country still imports N30 billion worth of ethanol from Brazil despite growing cassava.
The biofuel expert regretted that the country could be spending such a whopping amount of money importing ethanol, a commodity which could be produced from home grown cassava because she was not taking advantage of it agricultural resources.

Ololade dismissed the impression by some people that the country will lack sufficiency in food production if cassava was used for the production of large volume of ethanol.
The consultant stated this in a paper presented at the Africa Balance of Trade Summit Kwara 2015 organised by International Marketing and Management Institute in collaboration with the Kwara state government in Ilorin.
The summit had as it theme “Trade as Tools for Maximising Gross Domestic Income: The place of Agriculture and Mining”.

Presenting his paper ,the biofuel expert said the country must take advantage of her God’s endowed resources like Jatroffer,sweet potatoe, cassava among others to stop importation and create more jobs in the renewable energy sector.
He said if Nigeria doubles cassava production, it has the potential of creating 1000 jobs in every senatorial districts in Nigeria.

Governor Abdulfatha Ahmed of kwara state said diversification of the country’s economy is the easiest way of addressing the current dwindling resources in the country.
Represented at the summit by the state commissioner for commerce and cooperative, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Rifun ,the governor identified Agriculture and Mining as non-oil sector area of the economy that the federal government needed to tap into.
In his address, the executive secretary of the institute, Dr.Ekenechukwu Aloefuna,said the summit was conveyed to address the need for the diversification of the economy in view of the dwindling federal allocation.

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