The Federal Government said it would create about four million jobs from oil palm production, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Sunday Akpan, has said.
According to a statement by Sorinolu Olayinka, the Ministry’s Senior Information Officer in Abuja. Akpan, who was represented by the Director, Department of Commodity Produce and Inspectorate (CPI), Mrs Omololu Ope-Ewe, stated this during the presentation of the draft Oil Palm Policy document value chain. He said thet Federal Government was working towards ensuring the repositioning of the Oil Palm sector for optimal contribution in terms of job creation and revenue sources for both government and the private sector.
He said oil palm which once played a predominant role in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, is now imported to augment local production, saying local production was just about one per cent GDP, unlike the contribution of 70 per cent GDP in the past. Akpan said oil palm has the potential to place the country as a major oil palm producer and exporter, “as against what is obtainable in the crude oil sector. The essence of the national oil palm policy is to guide, regulate, protect and support both public and private investment in the sector,” he said. He urrged stakeholders to put aside personal and organisational interest and consider the draft policy document bearing in mind the impact it would create on the economy.
Akpan said with the policy in place, the country will have a national document that would protect the sector, while due diligence would be done to stimulate investment for higher productivity. He assured all stakeholders of government’s support for a robust oil palm industry that would be of immensed benefit for all, which upon completion, the document would be forwarded to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval. Earlier, in her presentation of the draft policy document, Mrs Funmi Ilamah of the Management Strategy Advisory Ltd., said that the policy document was very important to the producers of the crude palm oil. Ilamah said that the policy remained a fundamental step toward strengthening and supporting the development of agriculture in Nigeria as presently introduced by the current administration and the private sector. She said that the final National Policy Document on Palm Oil value chain in Nigeria would allow producers to complete globally in the international market. According to her, the policy will increase the sources of revenue to government at state and federal levels and boost job creation in the country.