… as Unyime Idem Advocates total overhaul
The House of Representatives at plenary directed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research NIFOR Headquarters to come out with a blue print to reactivate the NIFOR substation at Oruk Anam local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
This followed a motion presented by the Member Representing Ukanafun/ Oruk Anam federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr Unyime Idem on the urgent need to revamp the NIFOR substation in Oruk Anam local government Area. Mr. Idem in the motion stressed the importance of the resuscitation of NIFOR substation, arguing that, it will boost agriculture and enhance employment.
The Federal lawmaker noted that the agricultural sector presents Nigeria with an opportunity to diversify her economy and refocus on oil as the major source of revenue thereby creating employment for people and enhance the economy. Mr. Idem informed the house that the Nigerian Institute for oil Palm Research NIFOR with the main station in Edo state and sub stations in Akwa Ibom, Badagry, Dutse, Delta State and a raffia institute in Bayelsa state were hitherto major producers and exporters of Palm Oil in the country.
The National Assemblyman decried the fact that although the country controlled 43 percent of the global output and generated 82 percent of its national export revenue from Palm Oil in the 1960s, Nigeria is now a major importer of the product with a yearly demand of 2.7 million metric tonnes. The lawmaker who quoted the Nigeria Port Authority report, 2017, explained that the country imported 450,000 tonnes of palm oil worth billions of Naira depleting the Nation’s foreign reserve.
Mr. Idem while presenting the dilapidated state of infrastructure at the Akwa Ibom NIFOR substation at Oruk Anam on the floor of the house said that in spite of consistent budgetary allocation, his constituents who currently work at the substation earn a paltry sum of 4,000 naira monthly. The plenary presided over by the speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila unanimously mandated the ministry of Rural Development and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency FERMA to carry out remedial works on the access road to the NIFOR substation at Oruk Anam local Government Area.
The house also urged the Nigerian Customs Authority and other Relevant Agencies of government to strictly enforce the law on the importation of Palm Oil to boost local production and protect local industries. The Representatives called on the government to adhere to federal character principle and appoint van indigene on the Board and management of NIFOR. It would be recalled that Mr Unyime Idem had undertaken an unscheduled inspection to the NIFOR Substation at Oruk Anam where he promised to present the matter on the floor of the National Assembly for necessary actions.