Chairman, Edo State House of Assembly Adhoc Committee on Companies Operating in Edo State, Hon. Chris Okaeben has commended Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc for its stride to complement government efforts in developing agriculture as the main-stay of the economy
While lamenting the attitude of some of the youths who are still refusing to embrace agriculture as the main stay of the economy, Okaeben said: “of course we are following the global trend, we have been put on notice that in a matter of another 20 years or 15 years from now or rather 2030 Oil or petroleum may not be, people may have to be drinking the ones they have in their petrol stations and the main stay is going to be agriculture for Nigeria.
“I am sure Okomu Oil Palm Company already saw the vision, saw what was coming for us ahead and they prepared the way and I must tell you, driving in here and driving through the long distance of vast land they occupy here and I see the manpower that is working in every area and location that we drove past, I just said I cannot, but help to commend the company for the good job they are doing in terms of putting food on the table of our restive youths” he declared.
Hon. Okaeben representing Oredo constituency made the commendation, when he led members of the Adhoc Committee, who also include Hon. Crosby Eribo, Hon. Okunbor Nosa and Hon. Sylvanus Eruaga, to pay a working visit to the oil palm company to ascertain challenges and problems being faced by companies operating in Edo State, particularly in the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Tax portfolios and their relationship with their host communities.
“My joy is that Okomu has been living up to expectation in terms of its CSR and payment taxes to the Government. I believe arising from what we have seen from the report presented to us by the Company, it suggests to us that in spite of the directive of the state government that all illegal collections are hereby disbanded, it seems some funny characters and miscreants have decided to take the law into their hands and disobey those others. At the parliament, we are going to do the needful and ensure that anyone caught will not go off the hook,”
He explained that the visit was strictly a partnership visit, in ensuring that the company is protected just as well as the people and constituents are protected.
“We are following the global trend, and we have been put on notice that in a matter of 15 years from now, oil or petroleum will no longer be the main stay, the mainstay will now be agriculture for Nigeria. I see everything that they are doing, I cannot but commend the company,” Hon. Okaeben stated.
He, however, advised youths in the state and the country to key into the potentials of agriculture to make a living for themselves and should jettison the get it quick attitude, saying however that they need a new orientation which is a process that should be accomplished.
In his remark the Managing Director of Okomu oil plc, Dr. Graham Hefer thanked the Committee for the visit and stressed that the company has complied with all regulations that are required of it by government.
He, however, called for the removal of impediments to its operations, particularly on illegal tolls and extortions by touts as they hamper the company’s production capacity.