At the virtual launch of the Centre for Nigerian Dutch Dairy Development (CNDDD), the new expertise centre for dairy development by FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, reiterated the commitment of the federal government in driving industrialisation and backward integration across many sectors, dairy inclusive.
Represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, the VP lauded the initiative and the commitment of the Netherlands in developing the dairy sector in Nigeria and support for Nigeria’s industrialization agenda while underscoring the administration role in the sector.
“The timing of this event is auspicious for our nation as Nigeria is aggressively focusing on driving industrialisation and backward integration plans across various sectors, including the dairy segment. This will among other things, enable us to create employment for our large and great population, diversify the economy from a relatively narrow place, build industrial capacity and trade competitiveness, and improve the management of our foreign exchange reserves to alleviate the economic vulnerability to changes in crude oil prices,” he said.
He added that the sector was among the major sectors highlighted in the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) to accelerate the industrial capacity of the country and increase manufacturing contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He further stated that the federal government was taking significant steps to address the challenges hindering the growth of the sector.
The CNDDD is a first of its kind in Nigeria. For FrieslandCampina WAMCO, it is a major step in promoting dairy development in the country. According to the Managing Director of the company, Ben Langat, Nigeria is the second country globally to have the Dutch Dairy Development Centre. China is the first country to seal a partnership with the Dutch company.
Langat expressed optimism that the centre would help to boost productivity, quality level and sustainability of the Nigeria dairy sector while highlighting the various challenges faced in the industry.
“We have seen that there’s a lot of opportunity in the country for dairy development. And as a company, we see this, like the way you see a rough diamond; as a huge value and there’s a big benefit to the country in dairy development. We see that through the opportunity, given that 95 per cent of cattle herds in Nigeria today are local indigenous breeds which are multipurpose in use; mostly for beef and a smaller extent for milk. 60 per cent of these herds are owned by the nomadic Fulanis, and so it becomes very difficult to make a proper commercial case in terms of collecting or having enough milk. The average number of cow milk collected in the country today is less than two litres a day, which is due to several factors.
“We know that there are very few commercial dairy farms today and they have low productivity for different reasons. A lot of the milk that we see in our markets is still from imported milk. 75 per cent of the raw materials being used come from imported dairy. Therefore, we must drive this process even further. We know that Nigeria is a huge population, a country with more than 200 million people. And it is estimated that it will grow to more than 400 million by 2050. It’s our pleasure to introduce this center to drive this development for the country, in totality, not just for FrieslandCampina WAMCO but in the totality of the dairy development in Nigeria,” he concluded.
Also lauding and pledging support to the new initiatives were governors of Oyo, Ogun, Kwara and Niger states.