OSPAN: Soybean Exports Threatening $250m Oil Seeds Investment in Nigeria

Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia

The Oil Seeds Processors Association of Nigeria (OSPAN) yesterday raised the alarm that its $250 million oil seeds investment in Nigeria was being threatened by exports of soybean.

OSPAN, an umbrella body of processors of oil seeds in Nigeria, raised the alarm in a statement issued by Mr. Sama’ila Barau Maigoro and Mr. Hule Idyerkaa, president and Vice President, respectively, of the association.

OSPAN maintained in the statement that export of Soybean should be banned from Nigeria to encourage value addition.

“If processed, the crude soya oil would be further processed for local consumption which will in turn stabilise the price of vegetable oil locally,” OPSAN said.

The body further stated that, “Our members are investors in large, medium and small-scale processing of Nigerian grown Arable Oil Seeds into high quality edible vegetable oil and high-quality oil extracts for industrial use.

“Presently, our combined installed capacity per annum is well over three million metric tons with a total investment portfolio of about $250 million.

“We are currently one of the leading employers of labour in the agricultural sector; providing over 200,000 direct jobs to both skilled and unskilled labour (mostly youths and women) and millions of indirect jobs to farmers and other actors in the Value Chain.”

According to the association, “In 2022, Nigeria farmers produced about 680,000 metric tonnes of soybean. But instead of selling to Nigeria processors, they preferred the export window due to higher earnings made from foreign exchange.

“This situation is dire and poses a very significant threat to the Nigerian economy because it puts the effort of government to diversify the economy, the collective investments of patriotic Nigerians and the livelihoods of many Nigerians that are employed and engaged in the arable oil seed sector at risk.”

OSPAN therefore appealed for the imposition of a temporary ban on the export of soya beans from Nigeria until primary production is ramped up to sufficiently meet Nigeria’s domestic requirements.

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