The Federal Government has promised to work with stakeholders in the oil palm value chain to grow the sub-sector in line with its Industrial Revolution Plan. Mr Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, made the promise at a meeting with the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria in Abuja.
Others associations at the meeting were the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria and Vegetable and Edible Oil Processors Association of Nigeria. Aganga said that the ministry would partner all the stakeholders in the industry to develop holistic and integrated policy that would fast-track the growth of the sector.
“No nation has developed from being a poor to a rich nation by relying heavily on producing and exporting its raw materials without a vibrant and robust industrial base and services sector. Our country is blessed with abundant human and natural resources to become a great nation especially given the ongoing transformation and reforms being carried out by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
“In order to diversify and grow our economy through industrialisation we have already developed and begun the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan”.
Aganga said the plan had identified strategic areas where Nigeria had comparative advantage such as agri-business. He said that that the NIRP placed high premium in converting raw materials into finished products through value addition.
The minister said the ministry was partnering the manufacturing sector to remove barriers to increased productivity in order to increase the capacity utilisation of the real sector for job and wealth creation.
“We are committed to providing a conducive environment to support the growth and development of the industrial sector.
The meeting with the coalition of stakeholders in the oil palm industry value chain afforded us the opportunity to appraise the problems militating against achieving the full potential of the sector. We are ready to partner all the stakeholders to resolve the issues raised,” he assured.
Mr Fatai Afolabi, the Executive Secretary, Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria, had earlier solicited for the assistance of the ministry in industrialising the sector.
Afolabi said that stakeholders in the industry were ready to key into the Industrial Revolution Plan of the Federal Government in order to move the sector forward.
“For the past 20 years, this is the first time for us to get the opportunity of meeting a sitting minister in charge of industry despite all our efforts.