In line with government’s agricultural transformation drive and need to boost revenue, stakeholders in the oil palm production sector have stated that the country has over $45 billion yearly potential earnings untapped from the sector.
To this end, fairs and exhibitions organising company , BKG Exhibitions Limited, has unveiled plans to explore opportunities in the sector by showcasing the sector’s investment potential to stakeholders.
The Managing Director, BKG Exhibitions Limited, Ifeanichukwu Agwu, stated that with conscious and developmental efforts by managers of the Nigerian economy, geared towards oil palm production, huge amount of foreign exchange could be generated within the next three years.
Agwu during a press briefing to announce its palm produce and technology expo and conference, Palmtech, scheduled to hold on the 12th-14th, 2017, in Enugu, maintained that besides the huge potential the sector has to attract foreign exchange, it also offers employment opportunities for hundreds of thousands teeming unemployed Nigerian youths.
According to him, if given the necessary attention it requires, Nigeria will not have the labour force required to activate the oil palm industry.”There is no reason for Nigerian youths to be unemployed. The oil palm sector’s potential is even more than the labour force we have in this country. This is why we are using this conference to showcase the potentials of oil palm production which is even less expensive to invest in than crude oil,” he said.
He also advised the federal government to as a matter of fact prioritize its developmental objectives towards agricultural empowerment initiatives rather than investing in motorcycles and tricycles for youth empowerment.
“Oil palm plantation will outlive farmers. Nigeria is blessed in so many natural resource endowments. The government must look at this area seriously, although some State governments are already started to look inwards. All the sector needs right now are right policies and a conducive environment for businesses to thrive,” he said.
He however stated that the fair jointly organised by its foreign partners, WorldEx trade media group, a Malaysian professional outfit, is expected to attract experts and operators in the palm produce/services and allied industries worldwide to showcase latest building, construction equipment, machinery, facilities, systems, innovations and management solutions which can be effectively harnessed to develop the sector and boost businesses.
He also stressed that the fair offers immense opportunities for networking, business expansion and widening of operational scope for global players in the sector by serving as a gateway to the largest palm oil produce market in Africa.
“It will provide an annual forum for operators and stakeholders in the industry to be constantly updated with latest technological and management trends and as such, present an opportunity to review policies and programme implementation strategies to keep the industry in tow with the developmental needs of Nigeria,” he said.
In his words: “It will promote the policy of public-private sector partnership in developing the sector to enhance socio-economic development. It also serves to provide a unique forum for stakeholders from both sides to exchange ideas.”
He pointed out that the fair is expected to attract not less than 70 global exhibitors both local and foreign while also creating an ideal marketing and networking opportunities for serious companies operating in the sector.