From Eben Enasco Kingsley, Benin City

Management of Okomu Oil Palm in Edo State has said that it planned to employ 45,000 workers in its new plantation in Ovia North East Local Government Area despite the drop in price of commodities.

A typical Palm Oil Plantation

A typical Palm Oil Plantation

It said 600 workers have already been employed in the plantation which covered about 11,000 hectares given to the firm by the Edo State Government.

Managing Director of Okomu Oil, Dr. Graham Heifer, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen shortly after a meeting with the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Joe Okojie, said the company has spent over N2.5bn on the new plantation.

Dr. Heifer said, the oil firm was working hard to revitalize
agribusiness in the country as directed by President Mohammadu Buhari.

Heifer stated that the company has embarked on corporate social
responsibilities host communities such as grading of roads, payment of bursary to students, provision of water, providing boreholes and donating of vehicles to police to boostsecurity in the area.

The Okomu Oil boss said the company went through the proper route to acquire the land and that all the land titles have been issued by the state government.

He called for the removal of multiple and illegal taxes to enable his
company produce more and also increase revenue to the government.

According to him, “The state government has graciously given us a
portion of land in Ovia North East. We went through the proper route to make sure we purchase the land.

They have given us the land title. We are happy that the government has been able to do this.”

“There is nothing to the contrary that say the government does not
want to work with us. I am sure they will not do that.

The President has said they should make things like this happen
because it is important we find employment for the people. I don’t
think the state government would have given us the land if they didn’t trust us.”

“We have employed over 600 people. If the government work with us, we can extend it to 45,000 people. I am sure that they will see the will to work with us. Together we will survive, apart we will fail.”