The By Charles Okonji Lagos
The Managing Director of BKG Exhibitions Ltd, Mr Ifeanyichukwu Agwu has stated that Nigeria would be generating between $35 billion to $40 billion annually from the sales of palm produce if properly harnessed.
He noted that oil palm produce generates more income than the crude oil, explaining that every part of the palm is useful and has economic value.
Agwu disclosed this in Lagos on Wednesday while addressing newsmen concerning the fort coming exhibition on palm produce and its value-chain which would be coming up on July 12th to 14th, 2017, at Golden Royal Hotel, Enugu State.
He noted that BKG Exhibitions Ltd, in conjunction with WorldEx Trade Media Group, a Malaysian professional operator of events with over 10 years of experience, in arranging trade events for various industries would be hosting the exhibition.
He said; “There is no oil well allocation in this, it is safer, no high technology involved, it does not require high level of education, rural people can work on the palm plantation and the value chain with little or low level of education. There is more money in it than in crude oil.”
Agwu stated that there is no reason whatsoever for unemployment in the country with the vast land available for palm produce investment, adding that the government should invest massively in the sector.
“Nigeria is the fifth largest producer of palm oil in the world and the largest in Africa. Palm produce especially oil and kernel used to contribute highly to the Gross Domestic Product before the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria. It used to be one of the mainstays of the nation’s economy.
“With a well-developed palm oil industry, Nigeria can export the product and earn foreign exchange which will be a boost to economic diversification policy. Palm plantation is expected to increase annually in Nigeria in the next five to seven years to achieve the over 3,000,000 hectares of land, which experts say would lead to her self-sufficiency in oil palm and allied products production to meet demands,” Agwu stressed.
He called on the government at all levels, especially the state government across the country, to stop buying Tricycle and Motorcycle for youths all in the name of empowerment, saying that it is a mere waste of fund and helps in sending the youths to early grave.
He pointed out that all the states of the federation at one time or the other buy over 200 vehicles for taxi drivers which cost over N3, 000,000 each and after two years the cars are scraped without paying back the money.
He argued that when such amount is invested in procuring those vehicles for taxi drivers is channeled into palm produce investment; it would be a lifetime project which would help in closing the massive unemployment gap created in the country