The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill seeking to establish the National Council for Tea and Coffee Development.
The passage of the bill tagged, “Nigerian Tea and Coffee Development Council (Establishment) Bill, 2022”, followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), in his presentation, said the Council when established would be saddled with the responsibilities of developing and promoting the growth, production, processing and marketing of tea and coffee in Nigeria.
According to him, the establishment of the Council would facilitate the generation of foreign exchange for the country, so as to reduce over dependence on the exportation of crude oil as the mainstay of Nigeria’s source of revenue.
He explained that tea and coffee are most widely consumed beverages around the world.
Citing a report by Euro Monitor International, Adamu stated that Nigerians drank more than 1000 tones of coffee in 2020.
He added that another report by Fitch Solutions showed that overall consumer coffee spending for Nigeria was set to hit $286.8 million (N177.6 billion) in 2023, while listing Nigeria as one of the five coffee markets to watch.
Adamu explained further that the National Council for Tea and Coffee Development would, among others, provide the technical, managerial and horticultural extension services as catalyst for tea and coffee growth and development in Nigeria.
The lawmaker said that the passage of the bill by the upper chamber would be a “bold-step” towards revamping tea and coffee business in Nigerian, while at the same time creating employment for the youths.
Meanwhile, two bills to establish the Federal Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies Kotonkarfe, Kogi State; and the National Innovation Agency have scaled second reading in the Senate.
The bills were sponsored by Senators Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West) and Uche Lilian Ekwunife (Anambra Central).
The bill to establish the Federal Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies was referred by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over plenary, to the Joint Committees on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND; and Agriculture and Rural Development for further work.
Also, the bill seeking to establish the National Innovation Agency was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology after consideration.
The Committees were given four weeks to report back to the Senate in plenary.
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