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95% of starch used in Nigeria imported despite being largest cassava producer: FG

95% of starch used in Nigeria imported despite being largest cassava producer: FG

Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, says Nigeria imports 95 per cent of starch despite being the largest cassava producer globally.

“We are also the largest producer of cassava in the world,” he said. “Yes, currently, we import over 95 per cent of the starch we use. We estimate the market opportunity of about $290 million for industrial starch production.”

Speaking at the Nigerian Content seminar during the 2022 Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) conference on Tuesday, Mr Adebayo said the government was ready to collaborate with investors to accelerate the diversification of Nigeria’s economy.

“We are open to collaborating with investors to improve domestic production of some of our priority products, particularly oil palm and cassava starch,” explained the minister. “There is a market opportunity of about a billion dollars in oil palm production and its derivatives.”

He also complained that the recent increase in petrol, diesel and aviation fuel prices had adversely affected businesses in Nigeria.

The minister said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global energy transition to cleaner energy sources had made it imperative for stakeholders to develop new strategies to aid the sustainable growth of the oil and gas industry.

According to him, enacting the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has provided the needed clarity that will spur investment, particularly in developing Nigeria’s abundant gas resources.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to improving the nation’s manufacturing and production capacity by creating special economic zones and industrial parks.

The minister said out of the 17 economic zones, 14 were involved in food processing, large-scale manufacturing, warehousing, logistics services, tourism and technology development, while three were dedicated to oil and gas-related activities.

(NAN)

Source: Peoples Gazette.

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