On Thursday, 19 November 2020  the Senior Climate Specialist for Africa at Solidaridad, an international NGO stated that Nigeria is spending about $500M annually on oil palm imports. He said these words at the National Workshop on Oil Palm organised in Abuja by Solidaridad, an international NGO.

He said;

"This country is spending around $500M annually to import oil palm. That shows you the huge gap and it's because we are not meeting local demand".

The Deputy Director,  Federal Department of Agriculture, FMARD, Bernard Okata who was present at the workshop 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.

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He said;

"We have oils from groundnut, soybean and all that. But from oil palm alone, we are producing 1.02 million metric tonnes, while from other oils we produce 1.7 million metric tonnes and so the shortfall is about 350,000 metric tonnes.

"So there is a gap. We import to make up for this gap and Nigeria is spending about $500M annually for this importation up till now"

This report by Okechukwu Nnnodim of Punch Newspaper report in the paper's business and economy column (page 20, Friday, 20 November 2020 Punch Newspaper) left me thinking really.

I mean, in the '50s and '60s, Nigeria was exporting oil palm to neighbouring countries in Africa. *Sign*