EXCLUSIVE: Nigeria Spends $600m Importing Palm Oil Annually

The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) says Nigeria spends $600 million on palm oil importation annually.

Alphonsus Inyang, the national president of the association, stated this in an interview with NAN yesterday in Abuja. He described the expenses as unhealthy for national development.

Inyang said the money could be saved and injected into the economy if the palm oil sub-sector was given due attention by successive governments.

The president regretted that Nigeria, which was self-sufficient in palm oil production in the past, now spends a huge amount to import the same product.

Inyang recalled that in the 60s, Nigeria was number one in palm oil production and exportation globally, controlling over 60 per cent of world palm oil.

He said that the reverse was the case at the moment as over 50 percent of what we consume is imported.

“At the moment, the country occupies the fifth position in the league of palm oil-producing countries after Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Colombia.

“Nigeria may even lose the position to smaller countries who are investing heavily in the sector.

“Indonesia occupies the first position, producing 50 million metric tons, Malaysia second with 19 million metric tons, Thailand 3.28 million and Colombia 1.9 million metric tonnes,” he said.

The president attributed the challenge to the neglect of the sector by successive governments.

Inyang said that based on the U.S. The Department of Agriculture, Nigeria currently occupies fifth position in the league of palm oil-producing countries with 1.5 percent or 1.4 million metric tonnes of the world’s total output.

“Nigeria was overthrown as the world’s largest palm oil producer and exporter by Malaysia and Indonesia in 1966.

“Currently, Nigeria is the largest consumer of the product in the continent, consuming approximately three million metric tons yearly.

“Domestic production stands at less than 1.4 million metric tons, leaving a deficit of over 1.6 million metric tonnes,’’ he said.

Inyang specifically called on the federal ministry of agriculture and food security, to support NPPAN members with seedlings to develop 250,000 hectares per year.

“Our members can plant up to 250,000 hectares per year through the association’s National Oil Palm Strategy Development Plan; all we want are inputs.

“The government does not need to give and develop land for us, we need seedlings, fertilisers, logistics and implements to close this gap within four years.

“We will also create new millionaires in 28 states of the federation,” he said.


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