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Dwindling oil palm sector will be revived to stop importation- Emefiele

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has revealed that the apex bank is committed  to revive the oil palm sector so as to stop importation of the commodity.

Ha made this known during the weekend in Benin, Edo state, at a town hall meeting organised by the Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (OPGAN).

The meeting was held to find solutions to the dwindling fortune of the oil palm sector in Nigeria.

The meeting  room place at the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), Benin.

Emefiele who was represented at the event by his Special Adviser on Development Finance, Mr. Anthony Ufechukwu, said that the apex bank would not leave any stone unturned on its move to revive the oil palm sector.

“In doing this, we started by reaching out to large companies like Presco, Okomu and others, with a view to ensuring that they plant and assist small scale farmers but we are not getting the results.

“So, we are going down to the roots to interact with small-scale farmers who cultivate about one to five hectares, to have a strong union to promote themselves in the oil palm industry.

“I know that OPGAN group consist of persons who provide more than 90 percent of oil palm consumed in households in Nigeria,” he said.

He noted that the farmers under a good organisation, the apex bank would be able to fund them, including insurance packages for the farmers.

Emefiele said that OPGAN will be self-sustaining in 10 years from now.

In his address,  the National President of OPGAN, Mr. Joe Onyiuke, said the meeting was to rally support from the federal government to revive the oil palm sector.

“We are in NIFOR today to strategise on the way forward on the ANCHOR Borrower’s Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

“More importantly, to commission our new liaison office in NIFOR, which is key to us as oil palm farmers.

“With this office, our farmers will be able to get all the benefits and training required for the cultivation of oil palm.

“You can see that we have representative of the CBN, commercial banks and insurance companies here.

“To discuss the terms and conditions that is required to make us eligible to participate in the ANCHOR Borrower’s programme of the CBN,” he said.

Dr Peter Osagiede, the Edo chairman of OPGAN, charged all its members to purchy improved seedlings from NIFOR to guarantee increased production.

“We are here today to open an office where we would be liaising with NIFOR for improved seedlings.

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