ABUJA, (Xinhua) -- The
Nigerian Senate on Tuesday said it has voted to end the
importation of palm oil and its allied products to save
the local palm oil industry.
The move will encourage
and favor local farmers, and promote and protect the
local production of palm oil, the Senate said.
Deputy president of the
Nigerian Senate Ike Ekweremadu said a ban on importation
of the commodity would help revive the local palm oil
industry and position it properly to play its role as
one of the country’s major income earners.
“When the palm oil
sector is revived, it will boost employment,” Ekweremadu
importation of the commodity could threaten the
government’s campaign on diversification of the economy
through increased agricultural production and exports,
Last year, Nigeria
imported about 450,000 tons of palm oil, according to
Francis Alimikhena, a
senator, said it is regretful that Nigeria, a world
leader in palm oil production at independence in the
1960s, has now been overtaken by Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Malaysia is widely
believed to have collected its first seedlings from
Nigeria some decades ago,” Alimikhena said, noting that
the most populous African country now largely imports
palm oil from Malaysia.