Nigeria spends ₦884 billion to import palm oil every year

The Association president described the expenses as unhealthy for national development.

Nigeria spends ₦884 billion to import palm oil every year

Alphonsus Inyang, National President of the association stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja. He described the expenses as unhealthy for national development.

Inyang said the amount could be saved and injected into the economy if the palm oil sub-sector was given due attention by successive governments. The president said that Nigeria which was self-sufficient in palm oil production in the past, now spends huge amounts to import the same product.

Inyang said in the 60s, Nigeria was number one in palm oil production and exportation globally, controlling over 60% of world palm oil. He said that the reverse was the case at the moment as over 50% of what “we consume is imported,” he said.

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

According to him, Nigeria may lose its position to smaller countries that are investing heavily in the sector. He said 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 tons.

The president attributed the challenge to the neglect of the sector by successive governments. Inyang said based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nigeria currently occupy fifth position in the league of palm oil-producing countries with 1.5% or 1.4 million metric tons 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 tons,’’ he added.

Inyang urged the government, specifically 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.

“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 stated.

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