Obaseki’s agric reforms attract N29bn investment in oil palm, rubber plantations

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By Nefishetu Yakubu

Benin, July 10, 2020 The Edo Government on Friday said it attracted over N29 billion private investment in the agricultural sector, targeted at oil palm and rubber plantation development.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin.

Osagie said that Gov. Godwin Obaseki’s vision to transform Edo into an investment hub in the last three years and seven months, had created an enabling environment for investors.

“The governor’s vision has made the state an investment destination for investors seeking to develop plantations.

“The key investors in the state’s private sector-led plantation development include Dufil Prima Foods and Rubber Estates Nigeria Ltd.

“Dufil Prima Foods will be investing US$600 million (N23.2 billion) in pursuit of its backward integration programme by setting up 17,954 hectares of oil palm plantation in 14 communities in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state.

“The Rubber Estates Nigeria Ltd. is expending N5.1 billion in reviving the Urhonigbe Rubber Estate in Orionmwon Local Government Area which has created jobs and improved livelihood in the target and surrounding communities,” Osagie said

According to him, Dufil Prima Foods is committed to creating employment opportunities and reducing importation in the state.

“The company has undertaken a crop compensation exercise in the benefiting communities, which paves way for the oil palm plantation project that will include installation of an integrated palm oil mill.

“The next step after the compensation exercise is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as well as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) mandatory assessment and development of nursery,” he added

The governor’s aide disclosed further that Rubber Estates planting operation would be in two phases, with the first phase covering 1,300 hectares and the second covering 1,000 hectares.

“About N5.1 billion will be invested in Urhonigbe Rubber Plantation and a total of 350 workers will be employed on the plantation.

“Other key investors in the state’s booming plantation farming sector include Nosak Group; Presco Plc and Okomu Plc, among others,” he said.

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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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