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Monday, December 5, 2022

Akeredolu receives NPAN’s Champion of RED GOLD Award

… assures commitment to Red Gold project

By Fatmia Muraina
& Adekola Afolabi

|

The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPAN), has conferred an award of Distinguished Champion of RED GOLD in Nigeria on Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for his immense contribution to the development of oil palm in the state.

The National President of NPAN, Mr  Alphosus Inyang, presented the prestigious award to the Governor at the Ondo State International Agric Show and Food Fair held yesterday at the International Culture and Events Centre, (The Dome), Akure,

The theme of the two-day event is “Entrenching Proper Structures For Sustainable Agribusiness Development”

Inyang asserted that Governor Akeredolu deserved the award for identifying with oil palm production in the state.

“Of all the 36 States governors, Governor Akeredolu is one Governor who has identified oil palm and given it his right name as Red Gold and the tree of life.

He has gone ahead to work with our association by setting aside land for small holders oil palm farmers in the three senatorial districts of the state,” he added.

Receiving the award, Akeredolu who appreciated the association for the gesture, reiterated that his administration would continue to sustain strategies, policies and programmes that will engender all-round development of red gold project for the benefit of the people.

The Governor who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Olugbenga Ale explained that his administration has committed almost 80,000 hectares of declassified land to oil-palm cultivation in the State.

He noted that the initiative has enhanced the revenue base of the state through the provision of over five thousand jobs to people of the state.

“The RED GOLD project – our pet name for the Oil-Palm Value Chain, was divinely inspired, I believe. We reviewed the economic situation of the State when we came in. It wasn’t pleasant.  The State was largely dependent on the revenue from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). Our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was horrible.

We met about seven months of unpaid salary arrears and it occurred to me that we had to do something concrete, something good enough to broaden the revenue base of the State. I made up my mind to plan for both the immediate and future generations.

The governor emphasized that globally, oil palm is number one in the edible oil business, saying the administration of Chief Adekunle Ajasin, established the Okitipupa Oil Palm Company, but it was bastardised over the years, is noting that the company his coming back to life with the help of investors.

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