The Okitipupa Oil Palm (OOP) Plc has embarked on some measures aimed at re-strategizing and putting the company on a solid footing to enable it respond effectively to emerging challenges and return it to its past leading role in the industry.
The oil company has now partnered with the Nigerian Institute For Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), Benin, Edo State for a massive re-training of its personnel in line with the vision of the new management and board to restructure and re-position the company for optimal performance
The company’s Managing Director, Taiwo Adewole, in a statement, said over 32 participants at the week-long seminar held at its head office in Okitipupa, were drawn from all the key sectors of the firm with the hope of equipping them with the latest skills and knowledge essential to working in a modern oil palm industry, driven by IT-based technology.
The seminar was planned as a deliberate follow-up to the recent restructuring of the operation and services of the firm, which included contracting out some of its operations, out-sourcing some of its services and renting out to private individuals, small scale farmers and small scale oil palm processors, some of its plantations which covered over 10,000 hectares.
Adewole said the training, apart from exposing participants to skills and knowledge, would also make them key properly into the objective, mission and vision of the new operators of the company.
He said the choice of NIFOR was not an accident but that it was part of the road-map of the new Management team when it took over about three years ago to regularly inject new strategies into the firm capable of accelerating the attainment of the new mission and vision of the company, adding that to achieve this objective, NIFOR with its array of international experts in the oil palm industry, was the place of first choice.
He said: “This training is a record breaking because for over 10 years, staffers of this company have not got this kind of opportunity, as the place was completely grounded due to mis-management and corruption, but today with the support of the board, the issue of corruption, inefficiency and mis-management has been successfully tackled, especially with our cashless policy and out-sourcing of services and operations.”
He said apart from the above, the new team had broken the record in the payment of the annual statutory fees to land owners/communities where the plantations were located, which according to him, were in over 10 years arrears and ran into several millions of Naira.
He said the company “has successfully tackled the case of illegal harvesting and theft of its fresh fruits by unscrupulous youths in the host communities which had led to many bloody attacks on its staff and security personnel posted to secure the plantations.
To solve this problem, which had become a very lucrative business for criminals, Adewole said the firm adopted the policy of renting out some of these plantations to private individuals mostly from the host communities, by so doing, the communities had now indirectly taken ownership of the plantations.
“This strategy, he noted had created jobs for many people in the communities just as they are now responsible for securing the plantations and other OOP facilities located there.”