The Federal Government on Tuesday in Kano commenced sensitisation of cassava stakeholders in Northwest on strategic implementation of the bio-ethanol project.
In his address, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr Nebolisa Anako, said that the aspiration of the federal government was to bring about higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment by creating meaningful opportunities for the youth.
Represented by the Director, Finance and Accounts, Alhaji Muhammed Kabir, he said that the Bio-economy Policy aimed at promoting sustainable economic growth and development by creating a Bio-based economy that would contribute to job creation, poverty reduction, and increased access to food and energy.
According to him, this will be achieved through the development of cassava Bio-economy, as well as other Bio-resources.
The Permanent Secretary lauded the efforts of Federal Ministries, Department and Agencies for their collaboration and enduring partnership in developing the Bio-economy Policy, adding that, it was a Ministerial deliverable, that was captured in the National Development Plan of 2021 – 2025.
He said that the framework would employ a Triple-Helix Knowledge Transfer Partnership in its implementation.
“This includes the Academia, Research and Development Institutes, farmers, the Private Sector and Government MDAs, as well as Civil Society, Development Partners and Development Finance Institutions.
“It is pertinent to look at the Bio-economy response and how it can contribute to the deceleration of the rising food insecurity.
”The country, at this time, needs an approach that will increase food production, youth employment, and increased growth through the provision of industrial feedstock and exportable products to boost our economy.
“To achieve this, one strategic pathway is to develop the Cassava Bio-ethanol Value Chain. This becomes even more imperative, given the recent removal of subsidy on Petroleum products, re-evaluation of the Naira through the merging of official and non-official exchange windows,” he said.
According to him, the objective of the Cassava Bio-ethanol Value Chain is to demonstrate the efficacy of private sector-led approach in promoting investment in renewable Biomass, create wealth, provide jobs, reduce poverty and improve food security.
The State Commissioner for finance, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibrin, who represented Gov. Abba Kabir-Yusuf, restated the state government’s commitment to develop the project.
He said that a program of this nature, would benefit a large population of the state.
The consultant of the project, Prof. Ken Ife, said that the workshop would highlight the inaugural focus on the Cassava bio-ethanol value chain, which would stimulate industrial growth, and enhance food production and availability, across the nation.
He underscored the need to engage universities with a view to producing young bio-entrepreneurs and extension service agents, for the country to boost agricultural productivity.
Ife said that there was an urgent need to create new initiatives, aimed at addressing youth unemployment in the country.
Mr Felix Okonkwo, Director of Macro Economic Analysis of the Ministry, said that the objective behind the initiative was to reinforce government’s commitment to achieving key national goals.
He said that the objectives included, enhancing food nutrition, promoting agriculture, ensuring food security, and working towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Some of the participants who spoke to our correspondent commended the federal government for the project and promised to share the knowledge with orders.