Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) is targeting a revolution in the industry as it pumps millions into capacity development of bakers and equipment acquisition for them.
On Friday, several bakers graduated from the 13th batch of FMAN’s empowerment programme, which it did in partnership with the Yaba College of Technology’s Food Tech department, Lagos.
Lanre Jaiyeola, managing director, Honeywell Flour Mills, at the graduation ceremony, said there were plans to make major improvements on the programme, especially as a similar programme on the platform was going on at Kaduna Polytechnic.
Jaiyeola, who doubles as the vice chairman, Flour Milling Association of Nigeria, also stated that the training was aimed at improving the baking industry in conformity with global trends. He explained that the training also involved those attaining retirement. All together, 38 beneficiaries— both male and females— participated.
“The programme is aimed at empowering people, including experienced bakers, through a shift from the orthodox knowledge, operations and baking methodology to modern-day methodology, which is important for experienced bakers who need to develop their products and services so they can catch up with the trend in the baking space,” he said.
“The FMAN invested the sum of N26 to N30 million in acquisition of various baking equipment just to foster development in the baking space and flour industry as well, so that Nigerians can benefit from the wealth of knowledge of the resource persons resident in YCT. Today, 38 beneficiaries have been taken through various ways of handling flour and shown various ways through which they can handle flour,” he added.
Speaking on the milling industry, he said, “The milling industry is witnessing transformations. Before there were 15 milling industries in Nigeria but over the last five years the industry has witnessed a lot of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions, leaving just six to seven active players in the industry. This means that competition has become tough, although healthy.”
“In terms of volume, wheat, which is the major raw material, has been relatively flat and the growth is less than five percent year on year, although the milling industry has actively contributed to the country’s GDP, especially in the food and beverages sub-sector because it fosters value creation in organisations and among individuals,” Jaiyeola added.
A representative of the course facilitators commended the association, Honeywell, Flour Mills of Nigeria and other partners for their consistent efforts in contributing to individual empowerment of Nigerian citizens over the past 13 years. He encouraged the sponsors of the programme to reach out to other states and replicate the empowerment to other citizens.
Akinlade Sanmi, a beneficiary of the training, said even as an experienced baker, the programme has helped increase his knowledge and expertise, which will be relevant for his business expansion.