As part of expansion of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration's oil palm revolution, Fayus Nigeria Limited has commenced the development of a 3000-hectare oil palm plantation in Ugbeturu Community, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State, with a plan to create 5000 jobs in the community at full capacity.
The project is captured under the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), which has been rated as the largest oil palm development project in Africa. The ESOPP programme, backed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is spearheading the development of over 100,000 hectares of land across the state.
The Acting Team Lead of ESOPP, Mr. Churchill Oboh, during a project monitoring exercise of Fayus Nigeria Limited oil palm concession, noted that the project will rightly position Edo State as a leading state in plantation development and oil palm production on the continent.
He added that community inclusiveness in the ESOPP programme is imperative, and all farmers whose farmlands were affected have been duly compensated.
According to him, “The communities are at peace with the investor and the State Government because the communities were properly engaged and carried along in all the processes in line with the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidelines developed for Edo State, and we have ensured that the farmers are duly compensated after the crop enumeration exercise."
While commending the State Governor for this initiative, the Acting Team lead also added that the investment will create massive employment opportunities for the people, as an oil palm mill and refinery will be located in the community.
Representative of Fayus Nigeria Limited, Mr. Innocent Dauda, said that the company is set to plant over 3,000 hectares in the main field during the wet season, adding, "Similarly, they have 500,000 nursery beds prepared already to enable them to transplant their pre-nursery."
He also disclosed that 130 workers from the community are currently engaged in the project, noting that a proposed 5,000 workforce will be employed when the plantation becomes fully operational.O
n his part, Mr. Martin Ode, who spoke on behalf of the community, acknowledged that farmers in the community have been compensated, and expressed gratitude to the State Government for the level of inclusiveness accorded Ugbeturu Community.