The Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, yesterday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with PZ Wilmar, aimed at boosting palm oil production.
The Minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh said “with the MoU it is only a matter of time for Nigeria to achieve full sufficiency and meet the demands of the rest of the world”
He said” we were there before we slacked, we lost our position but the potential has never disappeared “
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja yesterday, Ogbeh said “We either get out of this trouble by local productivity, production and job creation or we will see our country go down and that is not an option that we want to contemplate; there is no fooling around in this matter, we just have to get out of trouble”
Describing the PZ Wilmar group as the type of investors Nigeria needs, Chief Ogbeh said “ it’s people like you, your continuous investment and faith in this country that can make this happen”
Also speaking, Chairman, PZ Cussons Chief Kola Jamodu ,CFR, said “the essence of the MoU is to promote research into how Nigeria can regain it’s prime position in crude palm oil”.
“Today we have 3 locations covering about 30,000 hectares and our first set of fruits have just started coming out”
“We thought to share our knowledge with the Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), so that we can translate it to other farmers and provide the right opportunities to thousands and millions of youths that are today just wallowing all over the place” he added.
The Executive Director, NIFOR, Omorefe Asemota said “the MoU is a milestone as PZ are major stakeholders in the development of any industry and the agricultural industry needs investors, in this particular case, PZ Wilmar”
He noted that there is need for strong research because that is where the inputs come from, technology and information, adding that “from these two there is need for synergy”.
The Executive Director said” a great fraction of what we have done today will translate into human capital development.