Nigeria Sugar Institute ‘ll develop manpower in industry -Minister

Minister of Industry, Trade and investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo says that the newly commissioned Nigeria Sugar Institute (NSI) will develop the human resources required to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the Nigeria sugar industry.

The Minister who spoke at the commissioning of the institute in Ilorin, Kwara state at the weekend said sugar industry holds a special place in Nigeria’s industrialization story.

According to the Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Ifedayo Sayo said it also carries the expectations of creating over a hundred thousand and the NSI is one of the key instruments for ensuring its sustainability.

He said the institute would provide “cutting-edge research and development programmes that will catalyze the development of the sugar industry and enhance its viability, competitiveness, and sustainability;  facilitate the dissemination, extension, adoption, and commercialisation of its R&D activities.”

He described the setting up of Nigeria Sugar Institute as a great legacy of the Buhari administration aimed at providing cutting-edge research and skills development in Nigeria.

The Executive secretary of the National sugar Development Council, Dr Latif Busari, said the institute is a critical enabler for the implementation of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), embodying three backup pillars that will support the drive for a virile and competitive sugar industry.

“As the industry Regulator, the Council may no longer directly engage in R&D or capacity development. Indeed, our enabling law requires Council to utilize the sugar levy to only support these critical activities.

“This is what we have been doing and will continue to do, 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 an industrial sector in Nigeria, and all stakeholders owe it to Nigerians to ensure its success.

“Therefore, all the R&D as well as capacity development functions which Council used to carry out, in collaboration with other partners are now to be handled directly by the institute, with Council’s support,” he said.

He lauded the contribution 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.

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