August 20, 2017

Plantation owners insist on palm oil import tariff

Plantation owners insist on palm oil import tariff... NAIJA INVEST

Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON) has called on the Federal Government to retain the 35 per cent tariff duty on the importation of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) to save the local industry.

Its Executive Secretary, Mr Fatai Afolabi, told reporters in Lagos that the group is disturbed by reports of concession and waivers being granted to traders to import CPO and refined products.

This, he said, was done despite all the tariff and the president’s assurance in the budget not to grant concession and waiver to import commodities which the country could produce.

Urging manufacturers to explore the untapped resources in the palm oil market, Afolabi said the sector could become more productive, if the multinationals and Asian companies join plantation owners on planting.

The manufacturers accused some foreigner of working with some individuals within the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment to clear the way for the CPO to enter the country and become an emerging market for vegetable oil in Africa and the world.

Nigerians must know what the government’s policy is on the importation of palm oil what its plans are to ensure that billions of naira invested in oil palm plantation by Okomu Plc, Presco Plc, Dansa Agro Plantations Limited, Real Plantation, A and Hatman, Siat Nigeria Limited, IMC Limited, JB Farms Limited, Saturn Farms, and Aden River are not wasted.

In the past few months, he said companies have refused to buy CPO from local producers, adding: “Their claim is that it is cheaper for them to buy palm oil from the international market.

“But analysts have computed the variables and discovered that it is impossible for these companies to get CPO at the international market at the prevailing international market price, pay for shipping of the bulky commodity and pay the full 35 per cent duty on it and still get it cheaper than the local market price of CPO.

Plantation owners insist on palm oil import tariff... NAIJA INVEST

Plantation owners insist on palm oil import tariff… NAIJA INVEST

“The only way their claim to obtain palm oil from the international market at a cheaper price than the local market can be correct is if they are short paying the government in the area of import duties and levies.”

He said tariff reduction would be of no use, describing it as part of a grand design to stifle local palm oil production.

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