The federal government continues on its shores to reduce hunger, poverty and unemployment challenges looming in the country as its committed to utilizing the Sugar Master Plan to lower the rates. The recent investment made by Brent Sugar depicts President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s dedication towards building a productive country. Mr. Zacch Adedeji, Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), made this known during the ground-breaking of the N300 billion Brent Sugar Plantation and Mill in Iseyin, Oyo State.
According to Adedeji, the government must take all measures to get the private sector on board to venture into projects that could lift and liberate Nigerians, especially the youths, out of poverty. He argued that the sugarcane-based industries are one of the effective tools in the country that could help ease the poverty burden. Adedeji further commends Brent Sugar Limited for deeming it fit to establish this kind of project in the environment, noting that it’s not just for Oyo State alone but also for the whole country.
This establishment is a path to industrialization and economic prosperity.
Moreover, the President believes that we must eat what we grow and grow what we eat, Adedeji added. On his part, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Industrialization, Prof. Oyebanji Oyelahan, asserted that industrialization is the pillar for economic prosperity. He said Brent Sugar Limited’s establishment is a path to industrialization and economic prosperity. Therefore, Adesina called on the people to ensure cooperation with the company noting that it entails a large beneficial gain as a community and nation.
The Chief Executive Officer of Brent Sugar Limited, Mr. Martins Akinola, mentioned that the total investment that would be committed to the project is about N300 billion over a period of five years. He stated that the company would be cultivating 11,000 hectares for a sugarcane plantation, with 5,000 from the company and 6,000 from external growers. Akinola said the company would generate 30 megawatts of electricity using BAGAS and employment opportunities for at least 10,000 people.
In the next two years the project would be into production, milling.
Additionally, the CEO of Brent Sugar Limited also made it known that 300,000 litres of ethanol would be generated from the waste coming from the refinery. And to top it off, as part of the firms social responsibilities to the Iseyin community, a model school will be constructed, and scholarships will be awarded to indigent students. However, Akinola appealed to the Oyo State Government to construct the road to Ikere Gorge Dam, which would serve irrigation purposes for the company.
Furthermore, he appreciated the effort of the President, the Executive Secretary of NSDC, Mr. Zacch Adedeji and the state governor, Seyi Makinde, which aided the company in accomplishing such a milestone. With technical partners from abroad, Akinola said the project would be into production and milling in the next two years in Iseyin if all goes well. He noted that equipment and maintenance would be handled by partners from India, with about eight joining next year in February.
The state gov’t is committed to infrastructural development of the state.
Akinola said the project establishment would be the most significant investment in Oyo State, with the state government as a co-owner. Meanwhile, the governor of the state, represented by his deputy, Mr. Bayo Lawal, pledges to ensure that the road to Ikere Gorge Dam is constructed and made motorable for all, adding that the state government is committed to enhancing infrastructural development of the state. Such an act was demonstrated in the interconnectivity project of the administration aimed at connecting the five state zones. Makinde said the company is an excellent beneficial gain to the state, which will also complement the state administration’s efforts in poverty reduction, employment creation and infrastructural development.