NEPC Condemns Importation of Palm Oil into Nigeria

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has condemned the continued importation of palm oil into the country.

It lamented that despite Nigeria being one of the biggest producers of oil palm, the country was still importing the product which is unhealthy for its economic survival.

The Deputy Director, Akwa Ibom State Coordinating Office of NEPC, Mrs. Pauline Ndulaka, made the complaint at a 1-day training workshop for palm oil producers yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Ndulaka, noted that producing palm oil in line with the global best practices would help to sell the product in the international market seamlessly.

“The place of palm produce in our National Development cannot be overemphasised be it in the area of oil palm fruit, palm oil, palm kernel oil, palm kernel cake (PKC), refined palm oil, palm shell, empty fruit Bunch (EFB), palm fibers, sludge, oil palm roots, oil palm trunk and oil palm leaves, among others.

“In 2014, the federal government of Nigeria listed 13 strategic export products drawn from the three core areas of Agro-Industry, Mining/Allied Produce, and oil and gas industry and palm oil is among the thirteen products under Agro-Industrial Products.

“The NEPC in furtherance of the policy came up with a supportive programme- One State -One Product (OSOP) initiative which is designed to create employment in the states through value-addition e.g. identified products, among others.

“All the states in the south-south listed palm produce as one of their major OSOP products, it is pertinent to mention that Akwa Ibom State has chosen palm oil as their number one OSOP product,” she said.

Also speaking, the Director-General of the Association of Nigerian Exporters, Obong Joseph Idiong admonished the potential exporters not to relent in efforts to engage in export business to attract foreign currency.

Declaring the event open, the Akwa Ibom State Permanent Secretary for Trade and Investment, Mr. Oliver Udoukpo commended NEPC for the initiative, adding that the ministry would continue to collaborate with the agency to boost export in the state.

On her part, the State Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agricultural, Mrs. Mary Ukoette, said the state government was taking decisive steps to boost palm oil production through the establishment of Dakkada Global Oil Palm Limited.