Osinbajo Tasks Friesland on Backward Integratio­n

- Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday in Abuja encouraged investors in the diary industry to facilitate "backward integratio­n" including the provision of incentives for local diary farmers.

Osinbajo made this remark while receiving a delegation from FrieslandC­ampina led by its global Chief Executive Officer, Mr Hein Schumacher in the State House.

A statement by the vice- president's spokesman, Laolu Akande, canvassed the need for Friesland to do more on dairy production by setting timeline for itself.

“I think that Friesland needs to, on its own, do something because there is really no incentive for backward integratio­n.

“I think that there is a need for you to do more in terms of local production and set some timelines. Maybe after six years, you should be doing 70 per cent and not 10 per cent.

"My view is that if we go at the current rate it will be extremely difficult for the local producers to move up,” he quoted him as saying

Akande also said Osinbajo tasked his guests on the need to develop a robust plan to improve local production across the country.

He quoted him further: “The plan of extending the dairy developmen­t programme to other states is extremely important. I just think that backward integratio­n is just so crucial. My worry is the lack of incentives for backward integratio­n.

“As part of the backward integratio­n, a programme of how to put the farmers in a position where they are able to produce more should be put in place.

“There should be a very robust plan to encourage cattle breeders to actually increase yields so that we can say, after a particular period, 70 per cent of products should be locally produced but the problem, I must say, is still the lack of incentives."

The statement added that Osinbajo assured the company of federal government’s preparedne­ss to give it the needed support to actualise its business objectives as he advocated better synergy between the public and private sector.

The statement also said earlier in his remarks, Schumacher recalled that the company which was establishe­d in Nigeria in 1973, had developed the plan to grow Nigeria's local dairy industry through a small holder farmer dairy programme.

According to the statement, the CEO appealed to the federal government to support the company's developmen­t plan by improving infrastruc­ture in its operationa­l base in Oyo State and also providing tax incentives for its new investment­s.

Members of the delegation included the Netherland­s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Robert Petri, the Chairman of the FrieslandC­ampina WAMCO Nigeria, Mr. Jacob Ajekigbe and other management staff of the company.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria