By Hamid Ayodeji
John Coumantaros, one of Nigeria’s biggest industrialists and investors, and chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria, has said that adequate infrastructural development and enforcement of prosperous policies and regulations by the Nigerian government are crucial for the sustainable development of the agricultural sector, and the economy as a whole,as they make the markets viable for domestic and foreign investment.
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Coumantaros canvassed this position during a webinar hosted by U.S Grains Council (USGC), U.S Soybean Export Council (USSEC), and World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), with the theme, ‘African Exchange Trade’, which featured industry experts and stakeholders from around the globe.
Coumantaros, in a keynote address, pointed out that generating and enforcing effective stable policies and laws that enable the private sector operate more effectively would help assure investors that their investments emerge profitable and secure, thereby boosting the productivity of its natural resources and gross domestic products (GDP).
He explained, “Good and consistent policies alongside infrastructural development of the roads, railways, airports, seaports with the implementation of technology-driven initiatives would help provide an efficient internal logistics system.
“Linking the agricultural sector with technology would enable it to identify problems across all the value chains and then innovate solutions that yield development whilst generating surplus value and sustainable growth of the economy.
“With the country’s enormous population of vibrant entrepreneurial youths, technology is very vital towards the development of Nigeria’s economy,” he said, and added that Flour Mills has been able to persevere and build its work philosophy around what the country needs in order to achieve food security and economic diversification.
Flour Mills has been able to contribute its quota by giving back and supporting the society in which it operates, Coumantaros said.
Jim Sutter, chief executive officer, U.S Soybean Export Council, in his contribution said USSEC remains committed towards increasing the volume at which it does business and invests in sub-Saharan African countries.
“We want to ensure that we collaborate and develop a prosperous economical climate for everyone, rather than it being one sided.
“As the world goes through the Covid-19 pandemic the demand for food supply has not dropped, thus, we understand the importance of maintaining and manufacturing great work relationships with other countries across the world,” Sutter said.