In a bid to create employment and boost internally generated income, the Imo state government has announced that it is taking steps to revive its ailing palm-oil industry, ADAPALM Nigeria Limited. The announcement was made on Wednesday, April 6, 2020, while the Executive Governor, Hope Uzodinma was having an on-the-spot assessment of the state of affairs in the industry.
According to Uzodinma, the state has to look inwards to see how best it can restructure its economy, boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) strength and then ensure that its citizenry is also busy. The government assured its citizens that with the modalities in place, the palm-oil company will develop its capacity to employ 35,000 persons if fully revived.
As of yesterday, ADAPALM had the capacity to produce 120 tons of Grade A oil per day and could earn the state an annual turn over of 3 billion Naira, when fully revived. Therefore, the Governor declared that his administration was committed to bringing back the company as one of the state’s hopes of economic survival after the global economic downturn due to the coronavirus scourge.
The move was also inspired by the appeal from the organised labour in Imo state, who have approached the Governor to set up a structure that would gradually pay ADAPALM staff a pending 50 months in arrears.
One challenge the company has had over the years is the problem of corruption, embezzlement and accountability. There has not been meticulous documentation of the day to day sale made on the plantation. But in October 2019, the former Deputy Governor of the State, Gerald Irona, charged the management of ADAPALM Nigeria Limited to be transparent in the day to day management of the organization.
According to a statement by Irona, “all transactions of the Palm Plantation must be done through the Bank, for accurate records keeping for government transactions.” This may account for why it was difficult for the company to pay its staff, as it could not adequately account for its financial operations. If the current government follows through with its new modalities, there are possibilities that it could recruit beyond 35, 000 staff and generate more than 3 billion Naira.
ADAPALM Nigeria Limited is a vast oil-palm plantation which has its own inbuilt refinery. It is not just built for Palm oil production and processing, it also has the capacity to produce other oil-related products like palm kernel oil, margarine and shea butter.