*Photo: Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment(1st right), Mr. Goran Sladic, Country General Manager of CHBN (1st left) during a visit by the Minister to the company*
During the conclusion of day one of a four-day tour by the Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, ,Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, where the team visited the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CHBN), conducting a comprehensive tour of the facility. Mr. Goran Sladic, the Country General Manager, highlighted the company’s substantial investment in supply chain infrastructure and unveiled plans for a youth empowerment program.
According to Sladic, “At Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, we showcased our commitment to supply chain infrastructure. We are investing $1 billion for job creation, empowering 10,000 youths, collaborating with the government, we will achieve more.”
On Monday, 8th January, the Trade Minister initiated an insightful factory tour in Lagos’s Apapa area, with the earlier focus of her tour placed on major sugar refineries like Dangote, BUA, and Flour Mills of Nigeria, underscoring a deep commitment to fostering growth and sustainability in Nigeria’s sugar sector.
The Minister’s engagement with refinery teams provided a platform for understanding the industry’s challenges and opportunities. Her discussions culminated in the assurance of the President’s support and the proposal of a comprehensive support plan for the industry.
“Today, I witnessed a standard of innovation and commitment to quality. We stand firm in ensuring stable sugar prices, which is crucial for Nigerians, particularly during Ramadan,” said Dr Uzoka-Anite. “Let’s forge ahead, creating a sustainable and flourishing sugar industry for all.”
Dr. Uzoka-Anite pledged the Federal Government’s full support and announced potential collaborations between the National Sugar Development Council and the Industrial Training Fund. This partnership will generate more employment opportunities and enhance skills within the industry. The Minister also revealed plans for collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation to provide cutting-edge Machinery and Equipment, reducing importation and promoting international standards.
The Trade Minister also spoke on a potential government initiative to de-risk and provide investment opportunities in the sugar sector. This would involve creating a more favourable investment climate by offering incentives, reducing bureaucratic hurdles, and attracting local and international investors. Such a move would be poised to infuse the industry with the necessary capital for modernisation and expansion.
Collectively, these strategies would be tailored to revitalise Nigeria’s sugar industry, promising not only to enhance the sector’s production capacity but also to position it as a competitive and sustainable player in the global market. Dr. Uzoka-Anite’s visit and subsequent suggestions reflect a firm governmental resolve to support and grow one of the nation’s key industries.