The Federal Government on Wednesday said it is committed to creating about 4 million jobs through oil palm production in the country .
This was made known by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Sunday Edet Akpan, at the Stakeholders Forum for the presentation of the draft Oil Palm Policy document, held recently in Abuja.
The Permanent Secretary, represented by the Director, Department of Commodity Produce and Inspectorate, (CPI) Omololu Ope-Ewe, said Federal Government is working assiduously towards ensuring the repositioning of the Oil Palm sector for optimal contribution in terms of job creation and revenue sources for both Government and the private sector.
He emphasized in a statement on Wednesday that Oil Palm which once played a predominant role in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country depends on imported ones to augment local production, which is just about 1 per cent GDP, unlike the contribution of 70 per cent GDP in the past, despite the potentiality in the sector with the propensity to sufficiently and conveniently place the country as a major oil palm producer and exporter, as against what is obtainable in the crude oil sector.
The essence of the national Oil Palm policy is to guide, regulate, protect and support both public and private investment in the sector. He therefore charged stakeholders to put aside personal and organizational interest and consider the draft policy document bearing in mind the impact it would create on the economy.
The Permanent Secretary further said that with the policy in place, the country will have a national document that would protect the sector, due diligence would be done to stimulate investment for higher productivity.
He assured all stakeholders of Government’s support for a robust oil palm industry that will be of immense benefit for all, which upon completion, the document will be forwarded to the Federal Executive Council (FEC),for approval before it becomes a national working document.
Earlier, in her presentation of the draft policy document, Funmi Ilamah of the Management Strategy Advisory Ltd, disclosed that the policy document is very important to the producers of the crude palm oil, stressing that it remains a fundamental step towards strengthening and supporting the development of Agriculture in Nigeria as presently introduced by the current administration and the private sector.
Ilamah further emphasized that the final National Policy Document on Palm Oil value chain in Nigeria would allow producers to complete globally in the international market, increasing sources of revenue to Government at State and Federal levels and boost job creation in the country.