Minister urges community to utilise palm processing plant
Niger Delta communities have been advised to make the best use of oil palm processing plants being established by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in communities across the Niger Delta region for meaningful impacts in their lives.
In a statement on Monday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Claudius Omoleye Daramola gave the advice at the inauguration and handing over ceremony of an Integrated Oil Palm Processing Plant at Umuehie community in OkwuIkeduru Local Government Area of Imo State.
He said: ‘’The huge investment by the Federal Government could only be justified if these facilities are guarded jealously and put into effective use such that will impact positively on the community through improved standard of living.’’
Daramola added that the establishment of an Integrated Oil Palm Processing Plant at Umuehie was pursuant to the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) of the Federal Government which according to him will no doubt add value to the palm oil being produced at that community and its environs.
The minister maintained that the approach would encourage more farmers to venture into oil palm cultivation and expand the production of the commodity which is in line with Federal Government’s policy on economy diversification.
According to the him , at the modern oil palm processing plant, palm oil is hygienically processed to high quality standard for both local and international consumption; stimulation for the cultivation of more oil palm farms; earning of more income to farmers; reduction in drudgery and wastages; curbing youth restiveness and other social vices.
Speaking, the Spokeperson of the host community where the the oil palm processing plant is located, IkennaOkechukwu thanked the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for accepting to site the project in their community. adding, that the factory would bring so much relief to their women from the traditional method of processing palm produce which is highly stressful.
He said: ‘’As the factory is commissioned and handed over to the Umuehie community today, we pledge our preparedness and commitment to manage and sustain it for the economic empowerment of our people.’’