FG plans $75bn oil mill, plantation investment expansion in Edo State, NIgeria

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This Day | 18 March 2014
The Governor of Edo State has announced the allocation of another 20,000 ha of land to SOCFIN's Okomu Oil Palm Plc and 50,000 hectares of land to Dangote Group for rice production.

FG plans $75bn oil mill, plantation investment expansion

by Adibe Emenyonu


The Federal Government weekend  announced plan to provide targeted support to Okomu Oil Palm Company PLC to enable it achieve its planned structured investment of $75 billion to cover mill and plantation expansion of the company in the next four years.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who disclosed this during the commissioning of the company's new 30 metric tons fresh fruit bunch per hour mill in Okomu, Edo State, said: "Webhave started discussions with Monitor Delloitte to clearly articulate the way forward in providing the much needed support for the company".

He further disclosed that the ministry would work towards partnering Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc and other stakeholders to determine the feasibility of establishing a Staple Crop Processing Zone in Edo State and also to engage some partners to support mechanisation, infrastructure and other agri-business needs of such a zone.

According to Dr. Adesina who spoke through the Director of Cooperatives in the Ministry, Dr. Dickson Okolo,  the Staple Crop Processing Zone could help in addressing the challenges of power facing investors in the area.

He also announced that his ministry would encourage the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research to expand its seed production facilities to meet the seed requirements of Okomu Oil Palm Company and other stakeholders who desire to expand their field plantings.

While disclosing that the Federal and Edo State Governments were jointly working together to promote the production of oil palm in the state through the initiation of elaborate policies and careful implementation of the oil palm value chains activities, he said the Federal Government  has targeted to produce nine million improved tenera sprouted nuts into mature seedlings for distribution to smallholder farmers and estates for field planting.

"Four million of the seedlings have been raised and are in different private and public nurseries in the 24 oil palm producing states awaiting distribution under the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme next month, while the raising of the balance five million seedlings will commence in April", he noted.

Dr. Adesina commended Okomu Oil Palm PLc for its strides and for providing jobs for Nigerians.

In his speech, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State announced allocation of another 20,000 hectares of land to Okomu Oil Palm Plc for cultivation, just as he also announced allocation of 50,000 hectares of land to Dangote Group for rice production in the state.

Oshiomhole who spoke  through the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Abdul Oroh, said his government plans to allocate 30,000 hectares of land to small growers where each grower was expected to own a minimum of 25 hectares of oil palm plantation.

Earlier, the Chairman Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc, Chief Gbenga Oyebode, said the company will in the next three years spend about N8.5 billion to expand its facilities, including installation of another oil mill, adding that expansion programme is expected to generate 5,000 new jobs.
Original source: This Day
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