Oil palm firm to generate 45,000 jobs at new plantation
FROM the organized private sector came support for Federal Government’s drive to fight unemployment as Okomu Oil Palm, Edo State yesterday said that it planned to employ 45,000 workers at its new plantation in Ovia North East Local Government Council.
The Managing Director of Okomu Oil, Dr. Graham Heifer, in an interview with newsmen in Benin City, revealed that 600 workers have already been employed in the plantation, which covers about 11,000 hectares given to the firm by the state government.
Heifer said the company has spent over N2.5 billion on the new plantation, stressing that the oil firm was working hard to revitalize agric business in the country as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The firm’s helmsman while maintaining that this was part of the company’s commitment to improving the lives of Nigerians and its host communities added that the company has embarked on corporate social responsibilities in its host communities by building access roads, payment of bursary to students, boreholes and donating of vehicles to police to boost security in the area.
He however, called for the removal of multiple and illegal taxes to enable his company produce more and also increase revenue to the government.
“The state government has graciously given us a portion of land in Ovia North East Council. 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 continues to encourage us, we can extend employ up to 45,000 people. I am sure that they have the will to work with us. Together, we will survive, apart we will fail,” Heifer said.