Durodola Kuteyi, the managing director of Spectra Industries Limited has offered to train and educate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in food processing to take them to the next level.
Kuteyi made this known in his welcome speech on the occasion of his 70th birthday and the formal launch and presentation of his memoir, “One Way Ticket: My Uninterrupted Life Journey From Pot To Factory” held on Monday, May 16, 2022 at The Event Centre, Hakeem Balogun Street, opposite Fela Shrine (NECA House), Agindingbi-Ikeja.
The serial entrepreneur recounted his life journey when he said that his life has indeed been a journey of a mixed grill of the good, the bad and the ugly from the time he started frying plantain chips with a pot and burner to this present day where he has a world-class factory churning out quality products that are globally competitive.
“The journey so far is what I have tried to summarise in my book, “From Pot To factory”. To the glory of God, from this mixed grill, we have been able to create a success story that has altered the competitive landscape of food processing and manufacturing in Nigeria.
“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.
“This has not come so easy considering the harsh business environment of Nigeria where SME operators are virtually left unprotected by the 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. I don’t want to bore you with the difficulties of running an SME in Nigeria.
“I have said a lot of that in the book we are launching today, which by the way gives a lot of insight on how to navigate through the labyrinth of the challenges of SMEs in Nigeria. This is to encourage us all that as Nigerians we have what it takes to make our country great,” he said.
Kuteyi, further explained that amidst all of the challenges, his company, Spectra Industries Ltd has been able to survive and today, the firm has quality functional products such as Suco Cocoa Powder, Spectra (Pure Natural) Cocoa, Hyfiba, Fast O Meal, Sobake, among others.
According to a renowned businessman, “The company has new products that we are officially unveiling to the global market. From the onset 30 years ago, we resolved that we will never compromise on quality.
“I am glad to announce that both the federal and the various state governments have not only endorsed our products, but they have also found in them unrivalled quality such that during the Covid-19 lockdown, we partnered with the federal government by processing 10 trailers of sorghum and converting them to our branded Hyfiba.
“These were delivered to Abuja and other states such as Katsina, Niger, Ekiti, Lagos, Plateau and Bauchi. We also donated our products to Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti States for the states to include in the palliatives given to vulnerable groups.
“Our commitment to processing and manufacturing of food is made imperative by the need for Nigerians to eat healthy so as to live a healthy life.”
He called on Nigerian governments and corporate organisations to partner with his firm to enable them to take the training of SMEs in food processing to the next level.
“We are therefore calling on the various levels of government to come and partner with Betamark as we plan to take this training of SMEs in food processing to the next level.
“The funds realised from the book launch of today will be channelled into building an SME Industrial Centre. This I believe will revolutionize the food industry in Nigeria.
“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,” Kuteyi stated.
He called on the federal government to come up with a realistic and sustainable policy that will help SMEs to overcome financing challenges as no nation develops without paying adequate attention to SMEs.
“In actual fact, insecurity has reached the level we are now because there are many idle hands who if gainfully engaged will not be interested in touting or banditry. As the Good Book says, “The Devil finds work for the idle hands or, “The idle mind is the Devil’s workshop,” he noted.