Alaghodaro summit: Investment in Edo oil palm sector hits $660m

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and President/CEO of Sanora Foods, Charles Eghobamien, at signing a MoU with Sanora Foods in Government House, GRA, Benin City

Following reforms introduced Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, investments in the state’s oil palm sector has risen to $660 million, with new projects proposed by Canada-based Sunora Foods worth over $100 million.

This is coming on the back of the $560m investment in the Edo State Oil Palm Programme, ESOPP, by leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods, FMCGs, companies and other private investors in the programme.

Through ESOPP, Edo is driving the development of the most expansive oil palm project in Africa, with over 60,000 hectares being cultivated as farm estates.

The ESOPP is one of the outcomes of the annual Alaghodaro Summit, organised by the private sector in the State to mark the anniversary of the Governor Obaseki-led administration.

The summit this year kicked off on Wednesday to Sunday.

It provides opportunity for dialogue and feedback with various stakeholders in the drive to make Edo Nigeria’s leading investment haven.

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While signing a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Sanora Foods in Government House, GRA, Benin City, Obaseki said his administration has continued to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

“As a government, we are very supportive of businesses who want to undertake investment in our State, particularly agro- based businesses. I urge you to be very diligent and manage the expansion project,” he said.

Earlier, the President/CEO of Sanora Foods, Charles Eghobamien, said the company was investing $100 million in the state’s agriculture sector.

The projects, according to him, include a 15,000 hectares oil palm, soya beans and other seed oil crops; an edible oil refinery, a 15,000 bottles per hour bottling line and an animal feed processing facility.

He added: “Our initiative is a global expansion and we have secured finance for the expansion. We have two markets, Indonesia and Africa.

“We have a target to create 10,000 direct and over 15,000 indirect jobs. We have other investment and development in terms of innovations, technical expertise and also through our social responsibility to impact the community.”

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