The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the goal of his administration is to have 100,000 hectares of oil palm plantation in the state within the next three years.
He made this known when he received officials of the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON), led by the Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Ibru, who paid a courtesy visit to the governor, at Government House, in Benin City, Edo State.
Obaseki told his guests that he has visited some countries in Asia, precisely Indonesia and Malaysia in a bid to re-define the oil palm industry in the state.
â€œWe are endowed as a state and we pride ourselves as one of the leading oil palm production states in Nigeria, where investors are showing significant interest. You will recall that one of the workshops we had on agriculture emphasised the need for an Oil Palm Road Map, which we have been working on,â€ the governor said.
He explained that in the state, oil palm is prolific in Ovia, Orhionmwon and Uhunmwode local government areas, and stressed that Edo State has in excess of 500,000 hectares of land available.
â€œWe are aware of the activities of land grabbers but as a government, we have set up a committee that is currently reviewing the trends in land allocation in the state and will address the issue.â€
Mr. Ibru congratulated the governor on his victories on many fronts in the course of ascending the position of governor of the state.
He said POFON members own the majority of privately-owned oil palm and rubber plantations in Nigeria including those situated within Edo State.
He explained that their goal is to protect the existing investments of members and attract new investors into the country.
Ibru added that the body was at the Government House to deliberate on availability and access to land for oil palm development in the state, land use charge and security of existing investments.