Oil palm firm set to produce 8.4 million bunches annually
The management of Okitipupa Oil Palm Plc (OOPC), Okitipupa, in Ondo State, has embarked on corporate restructuring for better performance to produce 8.4 million bunches of fresh palm fruits yearly.
Chairman of the new Management Committee, Mr Wale Osomo, said the corporate restructuring would help produce the quantity annually, and provide more employment opportunities for thousands of people, especially in the value chain opportunities.
“What we are doing is corporate restructuring which is going to be continuous. Part of it is to getting rid of ineffective and inefficient workers. Over 8.4 million bunches are not lost annually any more.
“Our IGR has improved over these months and we are getting in touch with our shareholders,” the chairman said, adding that technology would be deployed to boost the production level and plant new palm trees.
Osomo disclosed these at a press briefing in Akure recently, lamenting that the company had suffered some sabotage over the years.
OOPC was established over 50 years ago on 12,474 hectares of land, having mills and plantations spread across 15 communities in Ondo South Senatorial District of the state.
He noted that the company had recorded little production due to illegal harvesting and other activities on its plantations over the years, attributing it to poor management by past leaderships.
“We discovered that the company was lacking adequate funding. There was no internally generated revenue. There were illegal harvesters; breakdown of the mills; mismanagement of funds; and you would not believe the company does not have a bank for six years.
“Those working there are not effective and don’t have the focus of the company at heart. In the last 16 years, no dividend was declared and we are concerned about it. The survival of the company is paramount to us,” he said.
The new management identified four key areas to restructure and they are finance, operations, personnel and shareholders, assuring that the result would be a company of maximum profitability.
He also explained that the new trees would replace the oldest that were planted in 1985 with new breeds that can start producing from 18 to 25 months with maximum security watch.
“The illegal mills must stop as long as you are on our land. Technology has moved a long way. We will use drones to search them out. We have to take our company back. The survival of the company is our concern,” Osomo added.
However, he stressed that there was dire need to lay off some unproductive workers among the 1,500 staffers whose 28 years of arrears were paid within 15 days of their intervention.
Nonetheless, he mentioned that those who were laid off and without criminal records could reapply.
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