Managing Director, Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc, Mr. Graham Hefer, has said that the state government’s unrelenting drive for sustainable investment is paving the way for the company’s numerous expansion projects.
L-R: The first Lady of Edo State, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki; Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria to Singapore, Zainab Tani Zakari-Awami; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki during an engagement session with members of the Singapore Business Federation and representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Investment in Singapore on Friday, September 08, 2017.
Hefer made the submission during an interview with journalists in Udo, Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State.
He said the focus on institutional reforms and infrastructural development by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration provided a window of opportunity for the company to expand its portfolio and push for more investments in the state.
Noting that the drive would create jobs and improve the state’s economy, he said the company has been able to expand its oil palm plantation by over 11, 000 hectares.
Hefer added, “In the last three years, the company has expanded by 10, 000 hectares in Ovia North West Local Government Area. With the expansion we expect to double our current volumes in the next five years.
“The company has commenced construction of two new oil mills. The first mill will be completed in year 2020 while the second will follow up a year after.”
Hefer explained that the company’s present mill is being expanded to produce 75 tons of palm oil per hour from its current 60 tons capacity, noting, “All of these are as a result of the increased production expected from the recent extension II project. The state government’s investment drive for sustainable development aided our expansion project. On account of all these, people are now taking us seriously.”
Hefer commended the governor for the drive to attract investors to the state, highlighting the governor’s spirited efforts to sell the state to investors across the globe. “I commend the governor who has been busy interfacing with potential investors visiting the state. Things are looking promising for investors in the state,” he said.
He added that with the institutional reforms being implemented, “the state government ministries, agencies and department are now looking more professional in dealing with private investors in the state. We are now having a better relationship with the government officials.”
“We are experiencing a two-way communication with government officials in ministries, which we have not had in the past. When there are issues we don’t understand, we pick up the phone and talk with the officials to get clarification,” Hefer averred.
On the effort of the government on infrastructural development, he noted, “I hope to see the Gelegele Seaport and Industrial Park projects completed very quickly. On our part as a company, we are studying how these projects will benefit us in the short and medium terms.”