NSDC Initiative Targets Community Hostility In Sugar Industry

The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) is leading a comprehensive effort to tackle community hostility within the sugar industry.

Executive secretary of the agency,  Kamar Bakrin, who outlined the NSDC’s approach, which is detailed in the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) II in an interview in Abuja, emphasised the NSDC’s commitment to community engagement and development projects.

“We’re earmarking funds for community development, focusing on critical infrastructure such as roads, schools, and clinics,” Bakrin stated. “We’re also prioritising local hiring across various industry roles to ensure communities benefit directly.”

To facilitate ongoing dialogue, the NSDC is establishing a dedicated stakeholder management department. Bakrin highlighted positive discussions with state governors in key sugar-producing states, resulting in actionable steps to address community concerns and support industry growth.

Additionally, Bakrin disclosed plans for expanding sugar production, identifying 14 promising new sites. Ranging from 6,000 to 18,000 hectares, these sites offer strategic opportunities to enhance Nigeria’s sugar production capacity.

In alignment with the NSDC’s goal of achieving self-sufficiency, Bakrin reiterated the Council’s aim to produce 2 million metric tonnes by 2032.

Beyond community issues, Bakrin underscored the NSDC’s role in job creation and industry expansion. “Our aggressive plans will generate thousands of job opportunities,” Bakrin affirmed. “This includes roles in factories, as well as opportunities for suppliers and contractors, providing significant economic benefits.”

While acknowledging the continued need for sugar imports during the industry’s development phase, Bakrin emphasised the immediate positive impact on job creation and economic growth. “Job creation is paramount,” he concluded. “Our efforts will yield thousands of high-quality jobs, supporting communities and contributing to Nigeria’s economic advancement.”

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