CBN Backs Revamping of Palm Oil Sector

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Godwin Emefiele
Emefiele

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The Central Bank of Nigeria is joining hands with stakeholders in the palm oil industry to revamp the sector and regain lost glory

THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has promised to do everything within its powers to support the revitalisation of the palm oil sector in the country in order to provide jobs for Nigerians. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made the pledge in Abuja during a meeting between the bank’s management and palm oil value chain stakeholders to agree on a road map to resolve the challenges in the palm oil value chain in Nigeria.

Emefiele expressed concern at the contrasting fortunes of Nigeria from being the largest producer of palm oil worldwide in the late 1950s and 1960s, to becoming a net importer of the commodity from the 1980s to date. According to him, Nigeria currently lags behind in a distant fifth position in world production, behind countries that many years ago sent emissaries to Nigeria to learn production techniques and to get their first seedlings.

A statement from the bank said Emefiele also decried the practice where huge amounts were spent to import items that could ordinarily be produced locally. He stressed the need for all stakeholders to collaborate to restore the glory days to the oil palm sector in the country.

While recalling the recent policy of the CBN that excluded 41 items from being procured with foreign exchange from the Nigerian foreign exchange markets, he reiterated that the policy measure was introduced to help conserve Nigeria’s foreign reserves as well as facilitate the resuscitation of domestic industries and improve employment generation in the country.

He said the CBN decided to take the lead and play a major role in the resuscitation of the oil palm sector and decided to take a bold step and include Palm Kernel, Palm Oil Products and Vegetable Oils in the exclusion list of items not valid for foreign exchange at the Nigerian Foreign Exchange window.

Emefiele also reiterated that the decision taken by the CBN to include palm oil products in the exclusion list was taken after a thorough analysis of the sub sector. This, he said, was taken in the overall interest of the country, for the resuscitation of the local oil palm industry and to improve employment generation in the country.

“For the country to attain self-sufficiency there has to be committed development of more estate plantations and coordinated partnerships between the small holder plantation farmers and processors,” the statement quoted the CBN boss.

—  Jul 13, 2015 @ 13:15 GMT

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