The Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council, Mr. Zacch Adedeji has said that the council recorded major breakthroughs for the country with the implementation of the National Sugar Masterplan.
Adedeji said this in Abuja during a courtesy visit by the newly elected Executive Council of the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria.
In 2012, the first phase of the sugar master plan was approved, lasting from 2012 to 2022. The cardinal objectives of the policy were to ensure that Nigeria attains self-sufficiency in sugar production, cut down or completely eliminate the importation of refined sugar into the country, create job opportunities for the teeming youth population as well as generate electricity and production of ethanol for industrial purposes.
Speaking at the event, Adedeji said that the Council will continue to work with stakeholders such as the media to achieve its mandate of pursuing the continuous growth of the local sugar industry and the attainment of self-sufficiency in sugar production.
The NSDC Boss assured CICAN of the continued support of the Sugar Council, adding that this partnership has become even more critical now that the National Sugar Masterplan mandate has been extended for another 10 years, from 2023-2033.
He called for the support of the media to enable the agency achieve what he described as an ambitious and achievable targets contained in the extended sugar masterplan.
Adedeji said, “For us in the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), we take our core mandate seriously and we don’t joke with our partners in progress, in the media who bridge the gap between us and the general public.
“The robust, mutually beneficial relationship we have had with you and your colleagues over the years is one thing we don’t take for granted. As always, our doors are always open to all our friends in the media. Anytime you call, we always give you audience.
“Now that you have come with the newly elected leaders of your association, I want to assure both the new leaders and the past leadership that we will cooperate with you to deliver on your constitutional mandate of informing and educating Nigerians on happenings in the country as you support us to also deliver on our own mandate of pursuing the continuous growth of the local sugar Industry and the attainment of self-sufficiency in sugar production.
“You must be aware of the extension of the National Sugar Masterplan mandate for another 10 years, from 2023-2033, with all the ambitious and achievable targets contained therein.
“Let me respectfully refresh your memories, ladies and gentlemen, that during the first phase of the NSMP implementation from 2012-2022, we made a lot of landmark breakthroughs which we believe deserve more attention from you.
“Friends and partners in the Media, let me therefore use this medium to appeal to you to join us in this NSMP crusade from now to 2033 and ensure you give our activities and successes more publicity and visibility in your respective, reputable media organisations.”
Earlier, the Chairman of CICAN, Mr Ifeanyi Onuba said one of the purpose of the visit was to commend the agency for supporting the activities of the association over the years.
He also used the occasion to seek new areas of partnership between CICAN and the Council.
Onuba said being an important agency of government that is charge of Nigeria’s sugar sector, it has become imperative for it to continue to educate and inform the people through the media on its activities and programmes.
He said through such engagements with the media, Nigerians will be better informed on what the government is doing to attract investments into the sector, thereby making Nigeria self-reliant in sugar production.