*Wants NASS to pass Nigeria Oil Palm Development Council Bill
THE National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria, NPPAN, has disclosed efforts made to galvanise the nation’s palm oil industry with strategic plans its implementing to that effect.
The association also appeal to the National Assembly to consider and give speedy hearing to the bill and its passage into law.
The National President, NPPAN, Alphonsus Inyang, made this development known while speaking on the need for the National Assembly to pass the Nigeria Oil Palm Development Council Bill into law in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s drive to diversify the economy.
According to Inyang NPPAN is working assiduously to ensure the country becomes one of the world’s leaders of oil palm production, processing, and exporter.
He also stressed that without a concrete oil palm development policy the lofty dream would not materialize, rather players within the sector will be more frustrated and discouraged.
He said: “Lack of national policy on oil palm development in the country which can be done through the proposed Nigeria Oil Palm Development Council, NOPDC, just like we have the Sugar Development Council and the recently passed Rice Development Council.
“We demand a Nigerian Oil Palm Development Council Bill be passed into law in order to fast-track development of the industry and that would help Nigeria recover and restore its lost glory.
“We appeal to the National Assembly to consider and give speedy hearing to the bill and its passage into law as it is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision and effort to diversify the economy through agriculture and the time is now.”
He also stated that, “Also the government should end smuggling of oil palm products into the country from Cameron, Togo, Benin Republic, and others. Our small holder farmers are really in need of support including provision of processing equipment and implements at subsidized rates, and as an association we need conducive environment to encourage small holder farmers to be in production and business.”
The NPPAN boss also called on government for more funding of the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, NIFOR, in order to produce more palm seedlings for farmers’ productivity.
“We need increased funding by the federal government to NIFOR to enable them produce more seedlings for our farmers.
“In the area of waivers and incentives we want to plead with the federal government to look into the issue of the 25 per cent surcharge from oil palm imports and make it available to the industry for backward integration”, he said.
By Ebikiseiye Thompson