FIC Report (Edo State) – The Governor of Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiel has called on state governors to help the country through access to land for oil palm cultivation.
Mr. Emiefiele also lamented that $500 million of the country’s scarce foreign exchange being expended on the importation of palm oil to meet identified unmet demand gap of 1.25 million metric tons must be reversed.
He further noted the country’s total domestic palm oil demand and consumption which stood at 2.5 million with local production capacity availing 1.25 million metric tons only, must change.
Mr. Emefiele made this known in Benin City, Edo State at the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria Oil Palm Discourse -Focus on CBN Smallholder Oil Palm Intervention.
He revealed that the primary objective of the gathering was to exchange ideas and garner support to revive the oil palm industry and its entire value chain through financing major, micro small and medium entrepreneurs and small holders in the country.
According to him, the strategic potentials of the agricultural sector and its value chain in an economy, if well harnessed, has the potentials for rural employment generation, food security and foreign exchange conservation through reduced imports into the country.
He further explained that the CBN, under its Oil Palm Development and Expansion Initiative, has so far disbursed over N30 billion to the oil palm sector which is painstakingly been monitored to ensure efficient and effective utilization and maximum output.
Governor Obaseki in his remarks noted that the principal goal of the forum was to leverage what the CBN has initiated by removing all the risks involved in the cultivation and production of palm oil.
F. I. C. Benin