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CBN Boss: Nigeria Loses N20 Billion Annually to Palm Oil Importation

Original Post By Bassey Inyang
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CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele

• Apex bank to set up entrepreneurship programme for NYSC members

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed that Nigeria loses at least N20 billion annually in revenue due to the importation of palm oil into the country.
Emefiele stated this at the weekend when he visited PZ Wilmar Oil Palm plantation at Calaror Estate, Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Addressing the management of PZ Wilmer after a tour of the plantation, the CBN governor said:"This country is losing N20 billion Naira by the 75 per cent waiver given to people who import palm oil into Nigeria. We will work very hard to stop that because we need our revenue in our coffers.
“We will work with our colleagues in government to extend the programme for rice substitution into palm oil substitution and also with other agricultural produce where we think that Nigeria has comparative advantage and we will take advantage of this. We will encourage Nigerian banks to give you support and CBN will try to sow its seed to support your work”
The CBN boss condemned a situation where 75 per cent duty waivers is given to people who are importing palm oil into the country, saying "it is indeed a disincentive to those of you who are producing palm oil in Nigeria".
Speaking on the investment of PZ Wilmer, the CBN Governor said,“It sounds like news to the people how PZ, a multinational conglomerate would suddenly be seen in palm plantation business. From what I know about what PZ does, PZ uses palm oil in soap making, in detergent making and I see your foray into palm plantation as part of your backward integration plans and I feel delighted that you have taken this on as a way of supporting the federal government’s transformation agenda; first to create jobs, develop entrepreneurs in Nigeria and at the same time go into import substitution".
Speaking further, he said:"Earlier you said the import content of what you produce today is about 60-65 per cent and by the time this plantation is fully developed your import content will come to less than 10 per cent and that is what we want Nigerians to begin to embrace.
"I can assure you that the CBN, and indeed, with the support of other government agencies of government, will work with you.
"I am talking about ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment/Agriculture. I have noted the challenges and I am going to work very hard to ensure that those impediments that may act to discourage you in investing in this, we will tackle them for you.”
Emefiele said the CBN was evolving policies that will generate employment through the encouragement of entrepreneurship.
He stated that the nation's apex bank would continue to encourage entrepreneurship as a means of developing the nation's economy. Emefiele further said, the federal government is initiating an entrepreneurship programme with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), whereby members would go through a skill acquisition scheme.
“I will give you assurance, we are looking at putting in place a programme to create jobs and adjust interest rates and that means encouraging our young graduates to embrace agriculture and also encourage small farmers to embrace agriculture. We will encourage young NYSC graduates that are interested in agriculture with our own grants to begin to work with PZ wilmar to develop their agricultural skills and entrepreneurial skills. We appeal to you to accept them, we will not only give them grants we will also give them loans at reasonable rates so that they can begin to leave well and will not have to come to Abuja or Lagos to look for White collar jobs,”he said.