Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim, the Director-General, Raw Materials and Research Development Council (RMRDC), says the council is working hard to achieve a huge reduction in the importation of sugar in the country.
Ibrahim disclosed on Friday in Abuja that almost 90 per cent of the sugar consumed in the country was imported which was a concern to the council because of the huge foreign exchange the country spent on importation.
“ We are concerned as a council and for some time we have been looking at reducing the figure to the barest minimum.
“ We are looking for alternatives to achieve this, acquiring lands, working with sugarcane farmers and exploring other areas of partnerships.
“ We are supporting the Sugar Development Council, by providing improved and better sugarcane seedlings,’’ he said.
He stated that the project was underway as the council had moved past the trial stage which was achievable with the input from some state governments.
The D-G said the council was also in partnerships an American-Nigerian, who is into sugar production, and would be instrumental to the implementation and marketing of the project.
According to Ibrahim, the equipment and machinery for the sugar project have arrived the country and after the lockdown the team will be able to assemble them and start the project.
He said the council was working on several projects which depended on locally-sourced raw materials to improve local industrialisation and reduce importation.
“ As a council, we are working on a lot of programmes, cashew production and its by- products, tomatoes production, hides and skin production and tar production.
“ We are in partnerships with state governments to provide us with required land infrastructure and support in other to achieve the Federal Government’s agricultural policies,’’ he said. (NAN)