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Malaysian firms to assist Nigeria revitalise oil palm sector

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Malaysian firms to assist Nigeria revitalise oil palm sector

Steve Uzoechi
OWERRI

The Malaysian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lim Juay Jin has stated that companies in Malaysia will be glad to partner with their Nigerian counterparts to revitalize the nation’s oil palm sector.
Jin made the remarks in Njaba, Imo State, when he led a Malaysian trade delegation to the sprawling manufacturing complex of Sevirg Agro-Allied Mills Limited in Njaba Council Area of Imo State.
He noted that companies like Servirg have so much prospects and needed capacity to partner with similar companies in Malaysia that offer not only high quality and affordable oil palm products but also world class services in other sectors of the economy.
The High Commissioner described Servirg Agro-Allied Mills Limited as a trail blazer in Nigeria’s oil palm manufacturing industry.
“Having toured this factory today, I am quite impressed by the capacity and potentials seen here today. This company holds such great potential for the oil palm sector in Nigeria. The set-up here is so well planned and carefully thought out,” he said. Adding that the company is much more like the ones in Malaysia and in the forefront of pioneering innovative excellence in the oil palm sector.
The envoy said with what he had seen at the company: “I could see the cooperation of Nigeria and Malaysia in oil palm industry intensified because anywhere I go people will be asking me whether Malaysia could help in revitalizing the oil palm sector. But what I keep saying is that the timing must be right and you must have the right partners to make it happen.”
He described oil palm industry in Nigeria as one with very huge potential because according to him, just like Malaysia, Nigeria has a lot of land mass, good weather, wonderful vegetation, soil, necessary social make-up and historical background.
On ways his visit could foster closer business ties with Nigeria, he said: “This is one of the concrete proofs that things are taking shape again because most of these companies are forging closer partnership with Malaysian companies by bringing machineries from Malaysia to ensure quality production.”
Also speaking, a foremost lawyer in Imo State, Chief Peter Mgbenwelu described the company as a shining example of what Nigeria is capable of achieving if it looks inwards and taps into the boundless energy and ingenuity of its people.
Chief Mgbenwulu said as a manufacturing company, Servirg has demonstrated the spirit behind the formulation of the country’s National Development Plan, which was aimed at curtailing the dependence on imports and ensuring the growth of the Nigerian agro-allied industry, using local resources.
“That development plan then culminated into the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 which expresses the aspiration for Nigeria to become one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020. Attainment of the vision would enable the country to achieve a high standard of living for its citizens,” he said.
Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Obiora Ogoh, who took the Malaysian Ambassador and his entourage on a tour of the firm’s facilities, said the company’s aspiration is to take Nigeria back to her glorious days as a world leader in palm oil production.
“With this palm oil refinery, we are simultaneously starting our backward integration process. That means we started to grow oil palm in Nigeria. Nigeria was a world leader in oil palm in the 1960s and 1970s and Malaysia and Indonesia took the know-how from Nigeria and over the last 30, 40 years, they have perfected it and have now become world leaders in oil palm production.
So the intention of Servirg is to be one of the leading companies that will restore Nigeria to its former position as world leader in oil palm production, therefore, we are not only putting up a refinery here, which has a capacity of 30 tons per day, but we are also interested in growing oil palm. Again our crushing plant produces 150 tons per day while our bakery fat and margarine plant produces 20 tons per day. Also, I’ll like to inform you that we are on a journey to set up 350 hectares of oil palm plantation in Enugu State,” Ogoh said.

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