Obaseki Reforms: FG begins environmental, social impact assessment of Edo oil palm estate

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The Federal Government has commenced Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Edo oil palm estate development at Ovia North-East Local Government Area. The project is part of ongoing reforms by the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to attract investments into the state.

In a statement by Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, on behalf of the Minister, Mohammed Mahmoud, the public display exercise for information and comments on the draft report for the development submitted by De United Food Industries Limited will take place from 4th November to 2nd December, 2019.

The minister said the exercise, which is in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act E12 LFN, 2014, will take place in three centres across Edo State and one centre in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The project as proposed by the state government involves establishment of a 60-hectare oil palm nursery and the development of an oil palm plantation and ancillary facilities including power supply facilities, roads, and residential buildings.

According to the statement, “In accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act E12, LFN, 2014, which makes it mandatory for proponents of all new major development activities to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of their proposed projects, the Federal Ministry of Environment hereby announces a Twenty-One (21) working days public notice for information and comments on the Draft EIA Report submitted by De United Foods Industries Ltd.

“The proposed project involves the development and establishment of an oil palm nursery and plantation in two (2) phases. The phase one (1) of the project involves establishment of a 60-hectare oil palm nursery while the phase two (2) involves the development of an oil palm plantation and ancillary facilities including power supply facilities, roads, residential buildings, etc,”

It further reads, “The project will also involve the establishment of a cassava flour mill factory with a through put of 200 tonnes of cassava tubers per day. The total land take for the project is 17,954.71 hectares within Ekiadolor Forest Reserve in Ovia North-East L.G.A, Edo State.”

Mahmoud explained that the duration of the display runs from 4th November to 2nd December, 2019, between 8am to 4pm across the following display centres: Headquarters, Ovia North-East Local Government Area, Okada, Edo State; Edo State Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, Benin City, Edo State; Federal Ministry of Environment Office, Benin City, Edo State and Federal Ministry of Environment, Environment House (Brown Building), Independence Way, Central Business District, Abuja.

The ministry further directed that all comments received should be forwarded to the Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Environment on or before 9th December, 2019.