By Franklin Ocheneyi
“THEwork of the committee is to develop a road map that will move the production of dairy products in Nigeria from its current position to rank among the foremost dairy producers in the world.”
Those were the words of the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, when she constituted a stakeholders committee for the development of policy framework to boost the dairy industry.
According to her, the objective of the policy framework is to attract and achieve local participation in dairy business; ensure local content development of dairy; encourage joint venture opportunities across strategic segments of the dairy business and provide financial relief to boost local growth through the participation of women and youths in the sector.
“Members of the committee were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Raw Materials, Research and Development Council and the National Animal Production Research Institute.
“Others are: Nigeria Customs Service, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Private Sector groups such the Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria (CODARAN), Friesland Campina WAMCO, PROMASIDOR, Arla Foods as well as L&Z Integrated Farms.”
The Minister represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Edet Sunday Akpan, added that the industry was capable of producing millions of jobs and generating about N300 billion monthly into the country’s coffers if the right technology and infrastructure are put into place.
HajiaAbubakar disclosed that about $1.3 billion is spent annually on the importation of dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese and other milk derivatives.