Ondo firm’s giant strides in Oil Palm Production

By Kehinde Adejumo
One thing that is paramount in the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration in Ondo State is how to galvanize the state to greatness. In order to achieve this,  the state government has invested billions of  naira in Agriculture in the state.

 When this administration came on board, Arakunrin Akeredolu, SAN, promised  the people of the state, especially the youth  of jobs creation through  agriculture. True  to his words,  in less than two years of his administration, several billions of naira had been  distributed to farmers’ cooperative societies to boost agriculture and several metrics tonnes of fertilizer had  been distributed to farmers in the state for enhancement of farming.

According to the Governor, the state is looking forward to seeing a thriving oil palm production  before the end of this year, and that the state is working tirelessly at exploring the abundant natural resources of the state for the benefit of the masses and in no distant  time, oil palm would become a veritable source of income  in the state.

He added  that oil palm  value chains are ventures  which the state’s economy can lean on. Araromi-Ayesan Oil Palm Plantation is one of the plantations in the state where   Ondo State Government  has eleven percent share right, Araromi-Obu  housed the oil palm company which was established by the then Western Nigeria Government in 1953 under the leadership of late Chief  Obafemi  Awolowo. The company is  saddled with the responsibility of  producing oil palm in commercial quantity.

The company was incorporated in Nigeria as private limited company  in September, 1990 as Araromi-Ayesan Oil Palm Estate. In 1993, the company  changed its name to Araromi-Ayesan Oil Palm PLC .

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 The Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer, Mr Babatunde Balogun Kuku   while speaking  With  Special Focus   thanked   Governor  Akeredolu for his support for the company, saying that  the company has employed over 500 workers    in less than two years of  the Akeredolu-led administration, in line with his administration’s commitment to creating employment through agriculture.

The MD/CEO said due to the rapid  increase in  world population and the demand for dietary oil coupled with the biofuel movement, oil palm cultivation will continue to  expand in order to meet the increasing global demands for its vegetable  oil.

He said  rapid  expansion of the industry based in tropical Asia, Africa and America present many opportunities.

He added that the demand for oil palm has been on the  increase due to population growth that is put at  3%annually which has put the demand  gap at about 750,000 metric tonnes annually. The gap is being closed through importation which has put pressure on the nation’s foreign reserve .

 With the prospect of the company  to increase the internally generated revenue of the state, he pleaded with the state government to inject more money  into the company promising that in no distant future, the company will start to export its products.

Also speaking, the company Chairman, Prince  Adetola Adedeji  who said the company is doing tremendously well added that  the company’s physical assets  over the years has increased to N1.737billion, while the huge investments of the company had impacted positively  on operation.

Adedeji said due  to huge success that the company have under the Akeredolu led administration, the company had approached the state government for the acquisition of over 10,000 hectares of land and if granted and fully utilized   would raise the company’s output to 40,000metric tonnes of special palm oil annually  which means that more people will be employed  in the company.

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He pleaded with the state government to take up their  11% share right to pump more money into the company assuring the government that its investment in the company will generate more revenue for the  state .

 The immediate past chairman of the  company, Barr. Femi Okuniyi expressed happiness that the company  is making progress and has ensured that it does everything as stipulated under the law, saying that the benefits of the  company to the state cannot be over-emphasised.

  One of the shareholders, Mr Williams Adebayo commended the Board of Directors for a job well done, while  recommending that the company should recapitalise and get more  fund. He thanked the present administration for its cooperation and pleaded with the government to do more.

He called on the other shareholders to invest more funds into the company, stressing that the government alone can not  do it. The Ajobu of Araromi – Obu, HRM Oba Aderemi Adelola commended the company for what he called a great improvement compared to  previous years. He thanked the company for its contributions to the development of the community while pledging the community’s support for the  growth of the company.

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