The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has announced plans to partner with the Akwa Ibom State Government to improve and promote export of palm oil products.
Olusegun Awolowo, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEPC made this known while discussing with stakeholders on Thursday. He revealed the partnership plan of building a palm oil value chain in Akwa Ibom.
The Director stated that agriculture’s contribution to GDP dropped by 25% in the Q1 GDP report of 2020. He also called on states to adopt the One-State One-Product program.
Awolowo disclosed that Akwa Ibom’s palm oil industry has more comparative advantage than any other state in the Niger Delta. He called for stakeholder’s partnership to begin a proper value chain maximization for export.
He further stated that there has been a large increase in the global demands for palm oil. The rise from 1.2 million metric tonnes in 1964 to over 73.3 million metric tonnes in 2018 reveals a rise in demand and market advantage.
‘Regrettably, Nigeria that used to be a leading producing country in the 1960s is presently ranking fifth in production due to protracted neglect by the government’, he stated.
‘It is important, therefore, to engage the value chain players from time to time to address these challenges so that we can grow the export of this product in Nigeria’, he added.
Awolowo expressed hope that Akwa Ibom state would emerge as one of the leading producers in the coming years.