- Group laments the loss of billions into their investment.
- Urges Buhari to address illegal importation of crude palm oil into Nigeria.
The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, raising alarm over a downward slide in the price of Crude Palm Oil and local demand in spite of their huge investments.
The group in a letter jointly signed by NPPAN Ambassador, Dele Olanubi; Chairman, Ondo chapter, Bolarinwa Adetula; and its Oyo State coordinator, Abiodun Adejo raised the alarm to the president.
The letter addressed to President and titled, ‘SOS to the Federal Government on illegal entry of Crude Palm Oil into Nigeria,’ hinged the problem on illegal entry of CPO into Nigeria.
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The letter highlighted its complaint about seamless corruption at the borders, saying such had allowed smuggled palm oil into the country to the detriment of huge local investments.
The group lamented that many of them who heeded calls by the Federal Government in the last three years for private intervention in the oil palm industry is at the risk of losing billions invested in the sector.
According to them, virtually all of their businesses are at the verge of collapse because of unbridled corruption culminating in smuggled palm oil into Nigeria due to porous borders.
While noting that banks have also tightened the noose around the investors over unsettled credits and loans running into billions of naira, they said the jobs of millions of Nigerians are at stake if immediate positive steps are not taken to stop illegal entry of Crude Palm Oil into Nigeria before it is too late.
NPPAN said that the country was currently losing more than $500m worth of palm oil annually owing to worsening situation in the industry affecting local production.
“CPO output increase tremendously within the last 24 months. The price was stable at N300,000 to N350,000 per metric tonne within the last 18 months up to October 2018.
“Since November 2018, we have noticed a downward slide in the price of CPO. In January 2019, the price dropped to between N220,000 and N240,000 per metric tonne, even when the February to June season is yet to commence.
“We then wonder what the price would look like during the season, when CPO production is at peak. The local demand has waned,’’ it said.