PZ Cussons Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc continue to import palm oil into the country despite the presence of leading presence leading producing companies in Nigeria. When asked, Mr Emmanuel Ijewere, Vice President of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NAGB), said the situation is necessitated by the inability of local palm oil producers to meet the demands of manufacturing companies.
According to Ijewere, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) manufacturers recently requested for permission to import palm oil from Asia from the Federal Government. And the reason is that the volume produced by Presco and Okomu is less than what is needed by the companies for production activities.
In a meeting in which PZ Cussons and Unilever were consulted with FMCG, they explained that they need about 5,000 tonnes of oil palm as raw material. This is far more than the combined total of 800 tonnes that Okomu and Presco can make available.
The FMCGs were eventually permitted, according to Ijewere, to begin importing the raw material from Malaysia. But this is only a temporary arrangement that will last for only one year. The intention is to enable Presco Plc and Okomu Oil Palm to get their production capacity in order so as to enable them to meet the demands of FMCG.