Business News Nigeria: The Nigerian Government has revealed the desire to team up with stakeholders in the oil palm industry, so as to grow and develop the oil palm value-chain in accordance to the Federal Government’s plan for change in the industrial sector.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga said this during a meeting with the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria, the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria and the Vegetable and Edible Oil Processors Association of Nigeria in Abuja recently.
Olusegun Aganga noted that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is poised to work with all stakeholders in the industry towards a holistic and integrated policy for speedy growth and development of the sector.
Aganga further indicated that a nation’s development from poor status to prosperity is not totally reliant on the production and export of raw materials, exclusive of vibrant and robust industrial base and services sector.
“Our country is blessed with the abundant human and natural resources that could enable it become a great nation in no time especially, given the on-going transformation and reforms being carried out by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration”, the Minister stated.
“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 NIRP places high premium on the conversion of raw materials into finished products through value addition. He added that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is partnering with the manufacturing sector so as to eliminate barriers to increased productivity, increase capacity utilization for the real sector, create jobs and generate wealth for the country.
He said, “We are committed to providing conducive 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 has afforded us the opportunity to appraise the problems militating against achieving the full potentials of the sector. It especially relates to increasing their capacity utilization and job creation. We are ready to partner with all the stakeholders to resolve the issues raised.”
While speaking during the meeting, the Executive Secretary of the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria, Fatai Afolabi solicited the assistance of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in industrializing the sector; adding that stakeholders in the industry are ready to key into the Industrial Revolution Plan of the Federal Government, to move the sector forward.
According to him, it was the first time in twenty years for the opportunity to meet with an Industry Minister despite previous efforts. He expressed gratitude to the Minister for his passion and commitment towards industrializing the country. He also said NIRP is confident that if the present momentum is sustained and improved upon, local production and processing of oil palm in Nigeria will experience the desirable revolution in the next three to five years.