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Palm oil sector can boost Nigeria’s economy by $1bn, says trade minister

Palm oil sector can boost Nigeria’s economy by $1bn, says trade minister
September 30
21:04 2021

Niyi Adebayo, minister of industry, trade and investment, says the palm oil sector can grow Nigeria’s economy by $1 billion.

He said this on Thursday during his address at the second Andersen Africa-Europe Bridge Conference, held virtually.

The minister announced plans by the federal government to collaborate with investors to implement a backward integration programme across key selected priority products, including palm oil, sugar, cassava starch, cotton textiles and garments.

According to a statement issued by Ifedayo Sayo, his spokesperson, Adebayo said the federal government’s diversification agenda is achieving positive results with recent growth in the national gross domestic product (GDP) driven by the non-oil sectors.

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“For palm oil, Adebayo said there was a domestic market opportunity of about USD1 billion which potential investors could take advantage of,” the statement reads.

On cassava starch, the minister said while Nigeria remains the largest producer in the world, a significant domestic supply gap existed with more than 95 percent of cassava starch still being imported.

He said that the government’s focus was on bringing in large-scale investors to bridge the gap and increase the production of cassava starch.

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Speaking on cotton, the minister told the gathering that the government strategy was to leverage the special economic zones for garment production for local market and export.

He declared that the government was committed to the establishment of special agro-processing zones across the country to reduce post-harvest losses, increase value addition to farmers and enhance rural employment.

According to him, the government is partnering with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to achieve its goals while the ministry is willing to collaborate with potential partners in different areas of the project.

“Similarly, we aim to build at least one agro-processing facility in each of the country’s 109 senatorial districts by leveraging available government funding and exploring innovative financing methods such as public-private-partnership and grants,” Adebayo said.

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“Nigeria’s agribusiness sector is full of opportunities across multiple value chains, especially in the area of processing.

“The outlook report from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) states that the sector will undergo robust growth projected to rise 30 percent between 2018 and 2028.”

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