BY ONOME AMUGE
Durodola Kuteyi, the managing director and chief executive officer of Spectra Industries Limited, an indigenous food processing and packaging company, has enjoined the various levels of government to partner with Betamark, the company’s consultancy outfit, in its commitment to train small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES) in food processing and promotion of agricultural business as vehicle for sustainable production, youth empowerment, employment generation and economic development.
Kuteyi made the call during his welcome speech on the occasion of his 70th birthday, which also marked his 40th entrepreneurship year, 30th anniversary of Spectra industries Limited, as well as the formal launch and presentation of his memoir titled, “One Way Ticket: My Uninterrupted Life Journey From Pot to Factory”, held Monday 16 May at the Event Centre, Agidingbi-Ikeja, Lagos State.
According to the renowned agricultural industrialist, a lot of harvested food in Nigeria experience post-harvest loss which has consequently hindered food production and distribution across the country.
To address the challenge, he noted that the company, through the Betamark initiative, has over the years, embarked on training other SMEs in food processing to enhance quality production, curb post-harvest losses, and ensure that seasonal food commodities are made available all year round.
Kuteyi assured that the funds realised from the book launch would be channelled into building an SME industrial centre aimed at revolutionising the Nigerian food industry.
“We are also appealing to willing Nigerians to partner with us in that regard. By partnering with us, you can be rest assured that you have contributed to resolving one of the major problems of Nigeria, which is unemployment as well as resolving the issue of food security,” he stated.
The CEO of Spectra Industries Ltd. also challenged the federal government to come up with a realistic and sustainable policy that will help SMEs to overcome financing challenges, noting that no nation develops without paying adequate attention to SMEs.
Recounting his entrepreneurial odyssey, the septuagenarian described his life as a journey of a mixed grill that consisted of bad, ugly and memorable moments from the time he started frying plantain chips with a pot and burner to the present day where he has a world-class factory churning out quality products that are globally competitive.
“We have not only boldly stamped our name on the food processing and manufacturing industry in Nigeria, we are gradually building globally competitive brands that are attracting international recognition,” he stated.
This, he further explained, has not come so easy considering the harsh business environment of Nigeria where SME operators are virtually left unprotected by government, exposed to unfair competition from multinationals, frustrated by harsh financing terms by banks as well as multiple layers of tax and other sundry charges by various levels of governments.
Amidst all of the challenges, Kuteyi noted that Spectra Industries has been able to flourish, producing quality functional products such as Suco Cocoa Powder, Spectra (Pure Natural) Cocoa, Hyfiba, Fast O Meal, Sobake, as well as some new products that are officially being presented to the world.
Speaking further on Spectra Industries’ success in processing and manufacturing of healthy food products, he announced that both the federal and the various state governments have not only endorsed the company’s products, but have found in them unrivalled quality that resulted in the endorsement and delivery of the company’s food products as palliatives across various states of the country during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Echoing the company’s slogan, “Home of Functional Foods’’, Kuteyi stated that Spectra Industries is consistently researching how to provide Nigerians with quality and healthy food brands that are up to global standard at affordable prices.