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Nigeria can earn big from palm oil



Palm oil: Managing Director of Okomu, Mr. Graham Hefer. NAN photo.

The management of Okomu palm oil company has said that in spite of infrastructure deficit, processed palm oil could become Nigeria’s main foreigner exchange earner.

The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Graham Hefer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Benin there was a bright future for palm oil.

Although there are problems of steady power, roads and inconsistent government’s policies, but, “I can say that if all necessary things are put in place, we hope to see palm oil grow in volumes’’.

“This will ease pressure on foreign exchange and facilitate development of other sectors,’’ he said

He said that agriculture was the way to go for Nigeria and palm oil produce could sustain Nigeria’s economy in the future.

The palm oil sector in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is heavy and an indication that there was a large scope for improvement.

“ I can see a big boom in the sub-sector only if there is right environment for government-private partnership.’’ he said.

Hefer said that Okomu palm oil was growing steadily but regrettably, “we are not doing as much as our counterparts outside Nigeria’’.

“Currently, we produce 40,000 tons of palm oil yearly with two oil mills and all of these we sell locally.

“But we are hoping that in next 45 years, with our expansion program, with additional oil mills we hope to build, we plan to double our production to 80,000 tons per annul.

He complaint that the company could not compete internationally because of the lack of electricity and some other agents that assist production.

“We don’t have what others enjoy . It makes it difficult for us to compete favourably with outsiders.’’ (NAN)

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