© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
CBN disbursed 29.4bn to palm oil sector ― CBN Report
THE Central Bank of Nigeria said it disbursed N29. 4 billion to oil palm producers in Nigeria following a Presidential directive to stop the importation of palm oil.
CBN said the 24 billion distributed to the oil palm producers is aimed at strengthening the sector to its past glory as a major contributor to forex earnings.
The Nigeria apex bank said the action is in line with the Federal Government’s economic diversification programme targeted at ensuring improved massive production of palm oil to meet local market demand and as well increase export to conserve foreign exchange, decrease importation of the commodity and create job opportunities.
Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, during a one-day palm oil value chain stakeholders’ forum noted that Nigeria was the world’s leading producer and exporter of oil palm in the 1950s and 1960s.
He added that Nigeria had about 40 percent of the global market portion in Palm Oil during that period.
He lamented that currently, the country barely produces up to 3 per cent of the global supply of palm oil which has led to a huge loss of $10 billion annual foreign exchange earnings.
CBN said in prompt compliance to the presidential directive to stop the importation of palm oil, the financial institution has developed an active work plan with the Bankers ‘ Committee to subsidise interest rates for palm oil producing companies, who were the first beneficiaries of the intervention.
He said the palm oil companies are to expand their oil palm plantations with the N29.4 billion disbursed.
He added that consequently, in order to meet the Bank’s target of ensuring the local production of 7million tonnes of palm oil by 2020, the bank is set to enhance large-scale palm oil producing companies that will be working with the local farmers to obtain high-quality oil palm seedlings and ultimately boost palm oil outputs.