Officials from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development , states , agencies and non – governmental organisations on Thursday said Nigeria was spending about $ 500 m annually on oil palm imports.
At the National Workshop on oil palm organised in Abuja by Solidaridad , an international NGO , senior government officials and other stakeholders agreed to partner to reduce the continued import of the commodity .
Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop , the Deputy Director , Federal Department of Agriculture, FMARD , Bernard Okata , said , “ The partnership is to move the oil palm sector forward.
“ Our current local requirement for oil generally is about three million metric tonnes but we are producing about 1 . 02 metric tonnes of oil palm .
“ So there is a gap . We import to make up for this gap and Nigeria is spending about $ 500 m annually for this importation up till now . ”
Okata explained that the volume of oil and fat that Nigeria requires was about three million metric tonnes , but it had been difficult to meet this demand .
He said , “ We have oils from groundout, soybean and all that . But from oil palm alone , we are producing 1 .02 million MT , while from other oils we produce 1 .7 million MT and so the shortfall is about 350 ,000 MT .