In order to increase the production of palm oil in the country, a Technical Committee has been set up to streamline the activities of both the palm oil farmers and producers. This is against the backdrop of a sensitisation workshop held at NIPC in October 2018 about a purported ban on Nigeria’s Palm oil export by the European Union (EU).
In his opening remarks at the occasion, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Celestine Ikuenobe from the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) while noting the importance of the sector in Nigeria said: “I want to appreciate NIPC because this is a very vital sector of the economy which needs promotion.”
According to him, “The activities need to be promoted so that we can generate more revenue for the country and for our states in particular and so that the oil palm industry will not die but continue to improve and influence the economy of Nigeria positively as it was in the early days”. He asserted that the Committee would workout and harmonize documentations, roadmaps and policies related to Palm oil production and come up with a policy document that is encompassing and workable by stakeholders.
He also noted the need to identify and reach out to critical stakeholders that were not present at the meeting. Towards achieving the terms of reference of the Committee, responsibilities were allocated to members present comprising of the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry & Investment, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Nigerian Export Promotion Commission (NEPC), Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Nigerian Agency for Food and Drug Administration.
Other members of the Technical Committee include the Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation, Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency, Cross River State Investment Promotion Bureau, Edo State Investment Promotion Office, Oil Palm growers’ association of Nigeria (OPGAN) and NIFOR.
The members were tasked with making available documentations on land use policies by states, environmental laws pertaining to palm oil, investment and marketing strategies, policies on standardisation, provisions for small and medium scale holders, financials amongst others.
Also at the meeting to facilitate the work of the technical committee were Director, Policy Advocacy Mr. Reuben Kifasi who represented the Executive Secretary, NIPC and Director, Investment Promotion, Mr. Emmanuel Adeshina amongst other Management and senior staff.
The Committee will re-convene on 21st May 2019 with an update of responsibilities assigned towards meeting up with a June deadline when these recommendations would be submitted to the Honourable Minister, Industry, Trade and Investment.