Home Agriculture Dogara urges Tinubu to set up Presidential Cttee on oil palm devt, Nigeria could earn N16trn from sector

Dogara urges Tinubu to set up Presidential Cttee on oil palm devt, Nigeria could earn N16trn from sector

by Business News Report

 Nigeria grapple with efforts to diversify the economy by opening up the various sectors in order to generate foreign exchange and create jobs, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has urged the President to set up a committee on palm oil production saying that Nigeria could realise about N16 trillion from palm oil value chain. Dogara said that the oil palm industry if given the well deserved attention at both federal and state levels over 2.5 million households would be created in three years. He said this after he was conferred with the title of National Grand Patron of National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria, NPPAN, in Abuja, by the leadership of the Association. He also appealed to the Tinubu-led administration to partner with the NPPAN to create 2.5 million millionaire households through the provision of seedlings and other inputs to each of the 2.5 million households in 30 States with comparative advantage to plant 150 palm trees each.

He said if Indonesia can create 16 million millionaire families through oil palm, Nigeria can do same with the right policies and programmes. However, the former Speaker counselled Nigerians on focusing on solutions to the challenges of the country and not to speak more on the problems, therefore, he said it is time to fight for the solutions, which he is ready to be part of those who would ensure solutions to the current challenges in the country. He said: “Since the endeavour here is to bring people out of poverty utilising this because we are talking about 2.5 million families, everybody knows that Mr President is a welfarist. We can make oil palm industry N16.2 trillion by 2028. Maybe, Mr President might think that 2.5 million families is even too small, he wants to escalate it to 5 million families, and you can imagine if we have 5 million hectares of land under cultivation, and giving you 153 oil palm per hectare, and like I said for your family to maintain oil palm plantation, it doesn’t take anything; a family of three or four, they don’t even have to import labour, it is something that can easily be done.

“The variety we are talking about can start yielding after three years of planting, and by five years, it is fully set, some of them you can start harvesting 30 bunches from just one tree. So it is a huge market and opportunity that we are talking about, and we will not relent even if they don’t listen to us, we will not stop talking until we ensure that it is done. Honestly speaking, utilising the opportunity this industry provides for us we can lift millions of Nigerian families out of poverty and that is what attracted me and compelling for me to accept this offer. So my own is to talk to the people who are in charge of policy, and even if there are gaps in terms of the legal regime or the enabling legal framework, my primary constituency is the National Assembly, we would be able to get that one quickly done.” However, he (Dogara) called on President Bola Tinubu to set up a presidential intervention on oil palm industry development, targeting to make Nigeria the second largest palm oil producing country in the world after Indonesia.

Meanwhile, he also appealed to the Federal Government to release the 25 per cent palm oil levy charged on all import of Crude Palm Oil, CPO, into the country from 2001. The purpose of this levy was for the funding of smallholder oil palm farmers in the country to produce massively so that Nigeria can become not only self sufficient in palm oil production, but a net exporter of the product as it was up to the 60s when Nigeria was the largest producer and exporter. “I like I said in my statement, there is a 25 per cent levy for palm oil development that is collected on importation of Crude Palm Oil, CPO, into this country since 2001. The resources are there, and so if we can activate the release of this resource and that is enough for us to start with.  So it is advocacy and taking them to the right people, trying to knock where maybe their hands cannot reach”, he said. He said his plan on what he will start to do as grand patron of the Association, “The immediate work now is how do we bring Government in to conclude the work and master plan for oil palm development in Nigeria so that we can set the vision setting in clear terms, and we now know that this is the vision we are going to run with.” Also speaking on the sidelines of the conferment on the former Speaker as National Grand Patron of NPPAN, the National President, NPPAN, Ambassador Alphonsus Inyang, expressed optimism and hope that the former Speaker becoming the Association’s Grand Patron it will give the Association a huge leap that would change the narrative in the nation’s oil palm industry.

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