The Federal Government has said that it will work together with stakeholders in the oil palm value chain to grow and develop the oil palm industry in line with the Federal Government’s industrial revolution plan.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga said this during a meeting with the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria, National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria, and Vegetable and Edible Oil Processors Association of Nigeria, in Abuja.
The Minister said that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment would work with all the stakeholders in the industry to develop a holistic and integrated policy that will fast-track the growth and development of the sector.
Aganga said, “No nation has developed from being a poor to a rich nation by relying heavily on producing and exporting its raw materials without a vibrant and robust industrial base and services sector. Our country is blessed with abundant human and natural resources to become a great nation in no time especially, given the ongoing transformation and reforms being carried out by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
“In order to diversify and grow our economy through industrialization, we have already developed and begun the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan which has identified strategic areas where Nigeria has comparative advantage. One of such areas is agri-business. We will work together with all stakeholders in the oil palm industry to develop a holistic policy to grow and develop the sector.”
The Minister stressed that the NIRP placed high premium on converting raw materials into finished products through value addition, adding that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was partnering the manufacturing sector to remove barriers to increased productivity in order to increase the capacity utilization of the real sector in order to create jobs and generate wealth the country.
He said, “We are committed to providing environment to support the growth and development of the industrial sector. The meeting with the coalition of stakeholders in the oil palm industry value chain afforded us the opportunity to appraise the problems militating against achieving the full potentials of the sector, especially as it relates to increasing their capacity utilization and job creation. We are ready to partner all the stakeholders to resolve the issues, raised.”
While speaking during the meeting, the Executive Secretary, Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria, Mr. Fatai Afolabi, solicited the assistance of the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment for industrializing the sector, adding that stakeholders in the industry were ready to key into the Industrial Revolution Plan of the Federal Government in order to move the sector forward.
He said, “For the past 20 years, this is the first time for us to get the opportunity of meeting a sitting Minister in charge of industry despite all our efforts. We want to thank Mr. Olusegun Aganga for his passion and commitment towards industrializing the country.
“We are confident that if the present momentum is sustained and improved upon, local production and processing of oil palm in Nigeria will experience the desirable turnaround within the next three to five years.”