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Oil palm sector capable of creating 600,000 jobs — Obaseki

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said the oil palm sector can create over 600,000 jobs by 2030 if fully harnessed. Obaseki, who disclosed this yesterday in Benin during the launching of Edo State Oil Palm Programme, said the sector when fully developed, would grow the nation’s economy as it has done to Indonesia and Malaysia.

According to him, “the programme was part of the state government’s agenda of diversifying the economy of the state in line with the federal government economic diversification programme”.

“Successful implementation of the programme will create over 600,000 more jobs as well as 25,000 hectares of forest cover. This programme will cost us about $600 million, which is approximately N200bn. The money is there globally as money is not out of reach with investors on ground”.

Obeseki said to make the programme a success, the state government has developed over 1,200 hectares of land  strictly for palm oil production, adding that it will be allocated to investors and small holders farmers. Obaseki noted that the government was giving out land free while the CBN is committed to providing the funds.

On his part, the Governor of Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, assured that the federal government is determined to revamp the oil palm sector as well as support investors in the sector To revamp and make the sector viable, CBN has committed over N30 billion to the sector, Emefiele said. He added that Edo has 80 percentage of the amount, being a major oil palm producing state.