The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) in Ondo state has raised alarm over the wave of illegal importation of crude Palm oil into the country, describing it as a sabotage against the policy of the Federal government.
Speaking on the development during a Press, briefing the Chairman of NNPAN in the state, Chief Bolarinwa Adetula, called on federal government and other stakeholders to urgently check the increasing importation of Palm oil into the country.
He noted that the crude Palm oil has started witnessing downward trends since August 2017, saying “this is unusual during the off season when the price is expected to be stable or go up because of high demand”
According to him, the new trend of allowing cheap Palm oil into the country has forced many farmers out of business despite the policy of the present administration in the country to rehabilitate abandoned plantations, in order to increase the nation’s output of Palm oil.
Adetula, also said that the illegal importation has also been affecting the sector adversely noting that most of the workers in the sector would soon be laid off saying this is killing jobs in Nigeria.
According to the association, the illegal operators in the industry are the cause of the lack of revenue generation in the industry, urging government to set up a supervisory body to check the illegal activities.
“One of the cardinal goals of the government is to increase employment and it is known to all, that agriculture is a high employer of labour. An hectare of oil palm plantation will employ five permanent workers.
“It may also interest you that a ship load of Palm oil imported into the country is killing 4000 jobs in the country where the Palm oil is imported from. “
The association, however called on the Federal government to do all the needful to stem the trend of illegal importation to protect jobs as the industry remains one of the biggest employer of labour.