27th May, 2019
The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) says the country will benefit a lot from Crude Palm oil (CPO) as a leading foreign exchange earner with its price now 500 dollars per tonne against 426 dollars of crude oil.
The association disclosed this in a statement signed by its National President, Mr Henry Olatujoye, on Sunday in Ibadan.
It said “The current domestic market value of palm oil is about N400 per litre, while that of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol remains N145, just as diesel is N210 and kerosene is N250.
The association however decried lack of government incentives and programmes to further promote palm oil farming and production.
“Right now, there is no financial credit, technological support and other assistance from the government and its agencies for our members that have injected billions of US dollars into the industry.
“Whereas the cost of establishing a petroleum refinery is estimated at US$500 billion, while a mere N50 million can be used to set up a palm oil refinery that can be replicated across the oil palm belt of Nigeria,’’ it said.
NPPAN reiterated its readiness to collaborate with the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other government agencies to turn the industry around.
It also said its members were ready to meet with the presidency, National Assembly, CBN and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to provide statistics and documents on the comparative advantage of CPO over crude oil as a foreign earner.
“We are concerned that rather than ban the importation of palm oil into the country, ensure strict compliance and enforcement at the borders, the authorities preoccupies itself with sticking to only a commodity which is crude oil.
“This crude oil is shipped abroad to be refined and imported into Nigeria as finished good at criminal costs and processes fraught with gross abuse, fraud and other forms of sharp practices.
“This process smacks off lack of seriousness and any form of economic sense and wisdom, especially when Nigeria has got a huge comparative advantage over others on the commodity,’’ it said.
It said that allowing illegal importation of CPO into Nigeria would only add to the nation’s already saturated unemployment market and boost employment in other countries.