NSDC Holds Sensitization Workshop for Sugarcane Outgrowers/farmers in Yola

Determined to keep sugarcane outgrowers abreast of developments in the sugar industry as well as address challenges confronting them, the National Sugar Development Council held a sensitization workshop for sugarcane outgrowers and other stakeholders in Numan, Adamawa State.

The event which was declared open by the Executive Secretary of NSDC, Dr Latif Busari, ably represented by the Director, Finance and Account, Malam Auwal Abubakar Shira had other management staff like, the Director, Technical Services, Malam Muhammed Jika; Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Malam Ahmed Waziri, Deputy Director, Technical Services, Salisu Bkeke and the Council’s Senior Information Officer, Abdullahi Yunusa in attendance.

The event which took place within the premises of the Savannah Sugar Company Limited, Numan, Adamawa state, also had in attendance the Managing Director of SSCL, Engr. Todi as well as other top management staff of the company.

The event featured paper presentations as well as question and answer segment which afforded participants the opportunity to seek clarifications on contentious issues and challenging confronting sugarcane outgrowers and farmers and the way forward.

The one-day event offered sugarcane outgrowers the opportunity to access first hand information from representatives of the NSDC Management team on the state of the nation’s sugar industry as well as opportunities available in the sugar sector.

NSDC Relocates to Permanent Office Building in Abuja

The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) has formally relocated to her newly completed and commissioned state-of-the-art office complex located within the Garki District of the Federal Capital Territory.
Before the relocation, the Council and it’s staff operated from a temporary office located within the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF) in the heart of the Federal Capital Territory.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the Executive of the National Sugar Development Council, Dr Latif Busari said, the new office facility has ended years of lack of conducive working environment for staff of the Council, expressing hope that this effort would boost the morale of members of staff and be more motivated to deliver.
While urging Council staff to make good use of the magnificent office facility code name ” Sugar House”, Dr Busari stressed the need for council staff to be more dedicated, committed and determined to contribute towards the realization of the Council’s overall goals.
The office complex which was commissioned by the immediate past Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga was witnessed by former ES of NSDC, Alhaji Yakubu Tsala, Etsu Tsaragi, HRH Alhaji A.K Abdullahi, Senator Shaaba Lafiagi as well as stakeholders in the sugar industry.

FG Commissions First Sugarcane Bio-factory plant in Nigeria

Nigeria’s quest to attain global reckoning in sugar production got a major boost recently following the official commissioning of a state-of-the-art sugar cane bio-factory facility in Nigeria.

The Sugarcane Bio factory which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, is located within the premises of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, is expected to make good use of tissue culture to produce and multiply a few sugarcane varieties, thereby ensuring the provision of pure, clean and good quality sugarcane seeds for the growth of the entire sugar industry.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council, (NSDC) Dr Latif Busari noted that the bio-factory facility which is the outcome of a collaborative effort between the NSDC and the IAR is a bold step towards addressing constraints associated with the production of clean, pure and disease-free sugarcane seeds in the country.

According to Dr Busari, the bio-factory which would “adopt cutting-edge technologies to rapidly multiply sugarcane seeds for our sugar estates and farmers is a clear demonstration of government to link our nation’s industrial development to advances in science, technology and innovation”, he stated.

While stressing the need for critical stakeholders in the industrial sector to be innovative in the execution of their assignments, Dr Busari regretted that the country has been “faced with the paradox where scientists and technologists come up with new innovations which are left to gather dusts on their shelves while many of our industries rely on imported technologies and innovations or on obsolete technologies and machines that make industrial manufacturing inefficient and unprofitable”. 

On the adoption of modern technologies, Dr Busari said, “for us in the sugar industry, we have realized that the adoption of modern bio-technologies can help us to achieve rapid multiplication, transformation and conservation of sugarcane germplasm.

“Since sugarcane is ordinarily propagated through stem cuttings, this often facilitates the spread of pathogens that may result in epidemics. It is also a fact that development and release of new sugarcane varieties using the conventional breeding techniques takes between 8-10 years. But there are modern technologies such as mutation breeding and tissue culture techniques that could help solve these and other similar problems”, he explained.

In a keynote address, the immediate past Minister of Trade and Investment Dr. Olusegun Aganga, expressed delight at the commissioning and described the event as a milestone in the implementation of Nigeria’s Sugar Master Plan.

“The master plan is one of the major sectorial policies under the Nigerian industrial revolution plan enunciated by the Ministry of Trade and Investment. Sugarcane is a strategic crop with high value addition because ethanol, electricity, animal feed can be produced from it on the course of producing sugar. The projection of the sugar master plan is that 250 hectares sugarcane fields will be needed to process 28mills to produce about 1.6million tonnes of sugar in the1st phase of the project”, he stated.

“Cutting edge technologies have been used in many developed countries to promote rapid economic development and these advances produced from Biotech was due to heavy reliance on research, technology and innovation. Sadly, that has been the missing link in Nigeria’s past efforts at economic diversification though industrial manufacturing. Biotechnology in particular has opened to mankind a vast array of opportunities to significantly improve quantity and quality of biological deliverables”, he said.

He also commended the management of the Sugar Council for investing in the project and the Institute for Agricultural Research Zaria for collaborating so well with the sugar council.

The Sugar Biofactory is established through the collaborative efforts of the National Sugar Council, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment , and the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria.

In a goodwill message, Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Ibrahim Garba thanked the NSDC management for “nurturing this project to maturity”, adding that the project is a proactive approach for alleviating problems of sugarcane production in Nigeria.

The historic event was attended by two former Executive Secretaries of the NSDC, Alhaji Yakubu Tsala and Malam Usman Bello, Etsu Tsaragi and Chairman Sugarcane Outgrowers and farmers, HRH, Alhaji A.K Abdullahi, representative of Emir of Zaria among other important dignitaries.

 

NSDC RECEIVES THE REPORT OF PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDIES

NSDC has received the report of Pre-Feasibility studies earlier commissioned for Four(4) different Sugarcane growing sites in the country. The pre-feasibility study serves as one of the many incentives to prospective investors to have some technical, climatological and economical information needed to take business decision. The sites are Guyuk, Mayo-Inne , Shelleng sugarcane growing areas; all in Adamawa State and Dangerri sugarcane growing area in Kogi State. Although a more elaborate/full-scale study leading to the production of a bankable feasibility report would still have to be conducted by any interested sugar investor later, the pre-feasibility report provides a good preliminary working document to assist investors make informed decision on viability of the proposed sugar sites.

NSDC will soon embark on both local and foreign INVESTMENT drive to market the 4 sugar project sites through road shows, while the pre-feasibility studies of sites identified as capable of supporting commercial cane production in the NSMP will also be conducted this year. The four Consultants who worked at the four different sites submitted their final report on 17th June, 2014.

Nigeria attracts N480bn investment for sugar production

In line with the country’s desire to grow the industrial sector, the Minister of Industry, Trade and INVESTMENTDescription: http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png, Olusegun Aganga, has said the country attracted $3 billion (about N480 billion) investment into the sugar sector since the implementation of the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

The approval of the NSMP by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the 19th September 2012 had raised the country’s profile, making it to rank among the top five exporters of sugar in Africa.

Aganga, who spoke yesterday during the ministerial press briefing to mark the end of the 2013 series, also noted that the gains made through the development of the manufacturing sector had led to a reduction on the country’s dependence on oil and gas, saying  N305 billion was generated from non-oil export within the first quarter of 2013.

However, the figure was at variance with the official Merchandise Trade Report by the National Bureau of Statistics, which put the total earning from non-crude oil exports at N421.47billion during the period under review.

The minister said the FDI inflows of $7.03 billion was rated the first in Africa in 2012, explaining that the country was targeting production of 1.7 metric tonnes of sugar per annum.

He said: “Nigeria is among the top five importers of sugar and only produces about three per cent of domestic consumption. However, on the 19th September 2012, the FEC approved the NSMP and implementation commenced January 2013.

“NSMP has stimulated INVESTMENTSDescription: http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png of $3 billion thus far. NSMP is targeting the production of 1.7 metric tonnes of sugar; creation of 117,181 direct jobs; generation of 411.7 megawatts of electricity; total forex saving of up to $565.8 million annually from savings from sugar production and fuel importation.”

The minister said history had shown that no country became rich by exporting raw materials without also having an industrial sector.

He, however, said there had been significant improvements in Nigeria’s balance of trade with reduced importation and increased export value.

“The country recorded a 43 per cent decline in imports between 2011 and 2012, resulting in savings of about N4.2 trillion in foreign exchange.

“In first quarter 2013, industry contributed 66.9 per cent of the federal government’s non-oil earnings. Import as a percentage of total trade fell from 35.7 per cent in 2011 to 20 per cent in 2012,” he added.

In order to boost industrialisation and CREATE WEALTHDescription: http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png, the minister said the federal government had developed the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan.

Continuing, Aganga said: “It is our nation’s first comprehensive, integrated, and strategic roadmap to industrialisation. The NIRP has identified strategic industry groups where Nigeria already has comparative advantage, with a view to increase capacity and production in the near to mid-term. We are vigorously implementing the backward integration policy used in the cement industry in other sectors.”

On the development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises, the minister said the federal government had developed the National Enterprise Development Programme.

Called from: Thisday Newspaper, Thursday, 31st July, 2013.