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Communities embrace CBN’s Oil Palm initiative in Delta state — Official

In a noteworthy development, Emu Kingdom, a community in the Ndokwa West Local Government Area, joined the ranks of 67 other communities in Delta State on Monday by enrolling in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) program aimed at fostering the development of oil palm plantations nationwide.

In Asaba, Chief Felix Okonti, the Secretary General of DELCOM COOP, shared this announcement. The occasion was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the program, with HRM Johnson Ullu, EzeEmu of Emu Kingdom, and his subjects in attendance.

According to Okonti, the MoU with Emu Kingdom brings the total number of participating communities to 68 across the state that have keyed into the CBN oil palm plantation programme in the country.

He said that the communities would be allocating over 100,000 hectares of land for the programme which was a prerequisite of the CBN to enable each state to harness the full potential of the programme.

He said that the programme would be a win-win for all participants, adding that the oil palm plantation ensures great returns on investment, particularly when the programme would be deploying the best and fastest yielding varieties for cultivation.

Okonti noted that, unlike the local variety of oil palm seedlings, 150 stands of improved seedlings per hectare can produce 48 tonnes to 60 tonnes of palm oil per hectare annually which guarantees great earnings after each harvest.

He said that every participating community or individual land owner has three options; to sell the land, give it out on lease or participate in the venture and earn 22 per cent of the profit after tax as returns on investment annually.

Partnership with Delta Government

Speaking further, Okonti stated that the programme is a partnership between the Delta government(Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources), CBN and Group of Investors.

His words, “This is the first phase of the programme being anchored by the CBN and 14 states including Delta have been selected to benefit in this pilot stage.

  • “Also, each state is expected to provide 100, 000 hectares of land as the bank has earmarked N800 billion to finance the 1.4 million hectares.
  • “We missed the track during the advent of the crude oil money in the 70’s from being the leading producer of palm oil.
  • ” But this MoU is looking back and if the country can actualize the target of cultivating 1.4 million hectares, Nigeria will regain its position as number one or at least number two in palm oil production in the world.
  • “It is regrettable that the CBN in 2018 budgeted about N500 billion to pay for products of oil palm produced imports, commodities that we have comparative advantage to produce in the country.”

Need for More Participation

In response, Mr Ben Agamah, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, commended the Emu Kingdom for their collaborative decision to take part in the initiative.

He encourages increased participation within the state to unlock the potential for job creation, wealth generation, and economic growth at both the state and national levels.

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