By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expressed readiness to collaborate with the Ogun State Government, towards boosting oil palm production.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina made this known during an inspection tour to Apoje Farm Settlement, Ijebu-North Local Government Area, where an oil palm processing mill was located, under the management of Agricultural Development Corporation.
Odedina revealed that the oil-palm mill, established since 1958, needed to be refurbished for maximum output, adding that the facility sited on 8,000 hectares of land required CBN intervention for proper maintenance to enable it process palm oil in larger quantity.
He added that abandoned oil farms owned by individuals would also be revived, advising interested oil farmers to also leverage on the CBN intervention scheme.
“We are turning our searchlight to this facility, to survey potential areas of intervention by the CBN, so that the State can improve its oil production.
“There are lots of applications for collaboration by private investors within and outside the country. The CBN is here to upgrade our State’s value-chain, through this window of opportunity”, he said.
Also speaking, the Head, Development Finance, CBN, Abeokuta Branch, Dr. Mrs. Oluyemisi Olukoya, said oil palm was an essential commodity that needed to be tapped into, adding that there was need to visit the oil palm estates, in order to ensure sustainability for investment, expansion and rehabilitation in collaboration with the State Government.
“Apoje is synonymous with oil Palm, we have been hearing of this place for quite a long time, we see that a lot of investment had been put in place and there is room for improvement because there is a lot of potential here”, she disclosed.
The inspection tour to the facilities which included; the Oil palm mill, Steriliser, Boiler, palm-tree plantation, as well as nursery farm areas, had the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Dotun Sorunke, the General Manager, Ogun State Agricultural Development Corporation, Mr. Femi Soremekun on the Commissioner’s entourage.