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Nigeria to save $30m from cassava ethanol – Chief Nnaji

By Our Correspondent

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji, has said if Nigerian harness the potential of cassava as deem fit, the nation can save $30 million annually through the conversion of cassava to ethanol.

Chief Nnaji made this statement during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Montserrado Investments and the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, Lagos.

The collaboration will see to establishment of cassava based ethanol plant in Ekiti State.

Nnaji further explained that though the pilot project will commence in Ekiti State, it will be established later in the remaining five geo-political zones in the country.

The minister emphasized the economic and environmental benefits of this initiative, highlighting that the ethanol plant will significantly reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported ethanol.

Chief Nnaji added that the project aligns with the Tinubu government’s commitment to leveraging local resources for sustainable environment.

He added that the government is earnestly sourcing for means of creating dollars through businesses and as such this project would save a lot of funds that would ordinary have been lost on importation.

He said: ”Nigeria is the biggest producer of cassava in the whole world with 64 million metric tonnes, and yet, we are deriving just about a million dollar out of cassava. However, we have countries like Venezuela which produces about 800,000 metric tones and makes much money yearly from the crop.”

The minister noted that the ethanol plant will support local farmers, create a sustainable supply chain, and stimulating employment across the agricultural sector.

It will also reduce reliance on imported cooking fuels by developing a domestic ethanol production industry, thereby safeguarding the economy against global market fluctuations, he emphasized.

In her contribution at the signing ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of FIIRO, Dr. Jummal Adamu Tutuwa, stated that the benefits of the collaboration include generation of substantial economic activities.

”The bioethanol as an alternative fuel source in Ekiti can reduce its dependence on non-renewable energy, thereby enhancing energy security and promoting environmental sustanability. It will motivate farmers to increasecassava production, improving income levels and lilihoods in the rural areas,” she said.


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