By Henry Umoru
WORRIED by the disappearance of palm produce in the West/ Central Africa especially in Nigeria and Cameroon, the two countries will get a total of N8 billion to revitalise Oil Palm development.
SpeakingÂ at the official launch of Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), the Managing Director, Common Fund for Commodities, CFC, Mr. Julius Nwankpa noted that the organisation would develop Oil Palm in Nigeria and Cameroon with the sum of N5 billion while the balance of N3 billion will be offset by UNIDO Nigeria and Cameroon.
Nwankpa who noted that CFC is an autonomous intergovernmental Financial Institution based in Amsterdam Netherlands, stressed that the project in the west and Central Africa region is designed to develop a sustainable Oil Palm sector for income generating and poverty alleviation in West and Central Africa (Nigeria and Cameroon).
According to him, the initiative for Oil Palm was adopted by the project sponsors to further the development of African oil palm sector drawing from the experiences of the success of the Oil Palm in Asia, adding that components of the project include: improving the technological and skills inputs in Oil Palm processing through technology transfer, developing capacity for the sustainable development and supply of fresh fruit bunches and improving market access and competitiveness for Oil Palm produced in the region.
The pilot centers according to him will be 4centres in Cameroon while three states of Ondo, Akwa Ibom and Imo will be beneficiaries in Nigeria .
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Abubakar Mohammed noted that Nigeria had maintained a leading position in world production and export of palm produce since 50s and early 60s controlling well over 45 percent of the world market, just as he stressed that it was unfortunate that the country has lost that prime position and now ranks 26 positions in the world oil production, adding that the Federal government will support the initiative to bring us back to the nationâ€™s former position.