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Nigeria could save N94b on palm oil – SON

SON logo | File Image

‘Okeke also assured that through strict adherence to stipulated standards and quality requirements, palm oil products would attract increased foreign earnings for Nigeria’

By Valentine Amanze

Nigeria could save over N94 billion yearly on the non-import of palm oil into the country, says the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

The SON Director General, Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwunonso Okeke, made the disclosure after the agency’s public sensitization workshop for palm oil operators and stakeholders in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, last week.

Okeke also assured that through strict adherence to stipulated standards and quality requirements, palm oil products would attract increased foreign earnings for Nigeria as far as non-oil sector is concerned.

Okeke, who said that the agency had been making efforts to ensure the growth of Nigeria’s export trade, was reacting to a disclosure by one of the chief facilitators at the event, Prof. Kehinde Owolarafe of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife, who said Nigeria loses N94 billion annually to palm oil importation.

Also read: Rapid industrialization of Nigeria is my mission, says SON DG, Okeke

Underscoring the economic importance of palm oil, the SON director general expressed optimism that improvement in the production could effectively mitigate the poverty level in Nigeria, stressing, “Palm oil industry has the prospects of providing employment for millions of unskilled, semi-skilled people across the country.”

Okeke, SON DG | File Image

He listed the benefits of standard and quality products including palm oil to include; robust lives and safe property, healthy and safe environment, increase in exports and foreign earnings; employment generation and job creation as well as economic and Industrial growth.

Others, he said, include, global acceptability and competitiveness of locally made products, transforming businesses into large scale enterprise, boosting consumers’ protection, confidence and safety, among several other values accruing from standardization.

Recall that between 1920 and 1960, Nigeria was the leading producer and exporter of palm oil in the world – a position it gave up to Indonesia and Malaysia.

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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