To ensure economic diversification from oil to non-oil sectors, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has entered partnered with the Imo State government to boost palm oil and allied products through the state owned Adapalm Oil Company, Ohaji.
This was disclosed when a team from the bank, led by the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Agriculture, Anthony Ifechukwu, paid a visit to the General Manager of Adapalm, Dr Esom Goddy Obodo and members of the management staff.
Obodo said the move was initiated by the Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma, to diversify the state’s economy and create employment opportunities for Imo youths, expressing optimism that the partnership would yield fruits and the oil palm company would come back to life.
He disclosed that the state-owned palm oil company had opened discussions with Malaysians for the training of some workers.
He said: “Adapalm has opened contact with Malaysians to come over here to train some of our workers on how to convert wastes into wealth.”
The Mill Manager of the company, Mr Sunny Ejekwu, disclosed that the mill was in a sorry state before the appointment of Obodo, expressing joy that it had shored up production from 10 tonnes to 20 tonnes.
The CBN official Ifechukwu said they were in the state to assess immediate needs of the palm oil establishment to make it bounce back.
He said: “I am here today with a view to assessing the needs of Adapalm to come back on board and join the committee of organisations that are contributing to the development and production for the benefit of our country.
“Under the developmental role mandate, the CBN is actually interested in turning around Adapalm. Adapalm, in the 1980s and 90s, was a primary source of special palm oil that was consumed in this country and exported, too. In fact, it was the benchmark for oil production in the country.”
Earlier in his submission, a consultant, Mr Henry Okeke, said that they came to Adapalm to take inventory and contribute to how the industry could be rehabilitated.
He noted: “The partnership is going to yield positive results because, two good heads are better than one. It is obvious that over the years, one hand has not been able to manage this place and carry out challenges. Therefore, the CBN intervention is a good one for the industry.”
Another CBN consultant, Emeka Ononiwu, expressed optimism that from their findings, there were potentialities that would lead to light at the end of the tunnel, saying: “I see a whole lot of potential in this place, and I think if we are honest to ourselves and bring our hearts and souls together, we will be able to reactivate this place, which is the most important thing for the locals to be happy, including the state government and the Federal Government.”