• Govt allocates 45,000 hectares
The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has signed a pact worth nearly N100 billion with seven oil palm investors under the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP) Investors Group to rejuvenate oil palm production for global competitiveness.
Obaseki, who reassured that his government would sustain reforms and policies to ensure an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, thanked the investors for their interest in the state.
The governor said: “We thank all of you for the interest you have in partnering with us in Edo State to fulfill our mandate under the ESOPP, designed to boost agricultural production in Edo State.
“This journey started a while ago, but today’s event marked the beginning where allottees will take over the plots allocated to them to cultivate oil palm in the state.
“This exercise today, which involves the signing of 45,000 hectares of land to about seven companies for the purpose of cultivation of oil palm, will make Edo one of the largest, if not the largest oil-producing states in Nigeria. This is the first phase. And the second phase, which we hope will be concluded this year, will be about the same size of land.”
He said the investment would create over 200,000 jobs. It would make the state more competitive in the oil palm production business.
The governor thanked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for supporting agricultural development in Nigeria, particularly the oil palm programme, and assured that the almost N100 billion that it would be spending on the investment would yield the required returns.
Earlier, the Protem Chairman, ESOPP Investors Group, Rasheed Sarumi, congratulated the governor on his vision in making the state an investment destination.
He said: “We thank the governor for his vision in making sure that Edo State remains the nucleus of oil palm production in Nigeria, not only in production but processing. This will create room for other allied industries to leverage and deliver the dividends to Edo people in terms of empowerment, jobs and get the host communities to participate in modern agriculture, which investors will bring to enhance their livelihoods.”