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When Mr Zacch Adedeji was appointed as the fifth substantive Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council in March 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari, stakeholders in the sugar sector hailed the appointment as one that would redefine the growth and development of the sugar industry.

He assumed leadership of the Council with a proven track record of over 15 years of hands-on executive experience (+16 years qualified chartered accountant) in strategy, accounting and financial management, financial analysis/reporting, internal controls, change management, and people management.

Before his appointment as the Sugar Council boss, Adedeji had demonstrated capacity for service delivery when he worked as one of the youngest Commissioners in Nigeria.

In 2011, barely seven months after his 33rd birthday, he was appointed Commissioner for Finance in Oyo State becoming the youngest person to have occupied such a position. This was after he had attained managerial position few years after working diligently with an American multinational company- Procter and Gamble, (P & G). Till date, he is one of the most sought after in the state and beyond.

He is a First-Class graduate of Management and Accounting from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and later bagged a Master of Science degree in Accounting from the same university. He is currently a doctoral student at the same university. His insatiable quest for knowledge took him to the famous Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the United States of America for an Executive Course in Economic Development.

Mr. Adedeji’s long sojourn in the private sector and a four-year stint as the Commissioner for Finance in Oyo State between 2011-2015 with unbeatable and unassailable performance records and achievements, have, undoubtedly, prepared him for the onerous task of providing the needed leadership in Nigeria’s drive to attain self-sufficiency in sugar production through the faithful implementation of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

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He held a number of senior management positions while working at the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), a renowned American multinational consumer goods corporation headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, United states of America with branches across several countries. He was General Accounting and Stewardship Manager between January 2004 to May 2006 where he led a cross-functional team to prepare and report financial statements regionally and globally through consolidated data entry tool.

Mr. Adedeji’s culture of hardwork and knack for professional excellence earned him a higher position at the P&G with his elevation as the Finance Leader-SAP (Systems Applications and Products) Implementation Project. He spearheaded the day-to-day evaluation and implementation of SAP Modules and also led a 15-person finance team to develop the internal processes for the roll out of SAP West Africa in line with the projects pre-requisites.

He later rose to the position of Corporate Finance Manager (West Africa) overseeing Treasury, Corporate/Affiliate Accounting, AP &Tax at the Procter and Gamble between August 2007 and May 2011.

While in the saddle as the Commissioner for Finance in Oyo State, he introduced a number of brilliant, forward-thinking, revenue-boosting and cost-saving reforms that pushed up the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state, plugged financial leakages, introduced best financial practices and general financial turnaround among other innovations. Mr. Adedeji, a Fellow of Chartered Accountant (FCA) is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and member, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).

Immediately he took over at NSDC, Zacch hit the ground running with series of programmes to reposition the sugar sector as encapsulated in the Nigerian Sugar Master plan.

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In driving the growth and development of the sector, he has within a space of 26 months implemented series of programmes that have attracted huge investments into the sugar industry and positioned the sector as an avenue for job creation and poverty reduction.

In an interview, he described his over two-year journey at the NSDC as memorable, tasking and very rewarding.

Adedeji said, “The sugar sector is without doubt a very crucial sector to the Nigerian economy, especially in line with the economic diversification agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government. More than anything else, we at the Council are ready and have put in place all the necessary policies, measures, programmes and strategies to maximally harness all the potentials in the sector in the overall interest of our dear country.

“So, the journey has been an eye-opening experience particularly for me and members of my Management Team. We are determined to achieve our mandate as an agency of government, which is to regulate and develop the sugar sector for national prosperity.

“I inherited an organization that is both forward-thinking and very determined in the pursuit of its defined mandate and corporate objectives. I’m lucky to meet members of staff who are so dedicated, disciplined and committed to work, thereby making the whole environment friendlier and livelier than I thought.”

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