Statistics by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have revealed that the inflows of palm oil imports through the seaports have reached N61.9 billion ($95.2 million).
The imports declined 49.1 per cent from $186.7 million in 2021 in the same period due to forex restriction by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), high price of the commodity, which has reached $1,121.33 per tonne in the global market and the Ukraine-Russia war.
Findings by New Telegraph revealed that Lagos Port Complex took delivery of 66,400 tonnes from eight vessels between April and August 2022. Also, in the first quarter of 2022, NBS explained that palm oil from Malaysia into the country was valued at ₦13.5 billion, leading to 72.1 per cent rise in less than four months.
This month, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping data revealed that the country will take delivery of 19,200 tonnes of the produce from Rayyan I laden with 10,200 tonnes; Chem Lyra, 5,000 tonnes and Easterly AS Oliva, 4,000 tonnes. Also in July, 2022, Winter discharged 8,200 tonnes, Admore, 19,000 tonnes and Golden Camellia, 9,700 tonnes, while Atlantik Miracle and Harbour Progress offloaded 5,300 tonnes and 5,000 tonnes in May, 2022 respectively.
Palm importation by Nigeria has declined to $186.7 million or 46.9 per cent or in the last two years following import restriction by the Federal Government and high price.
The country imported $351 million worth of the produce in 2020 from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Colombia and Niger but the imports was reduced to $186.7 million in 2021.
In 2020, Nigeria imported $351 million, making it the 23rd largest importer of palm oil in the world as imports from Malaysia was $242 million or 69 per cent; Singapore, $50.8 million or 14.5 per cent; Indonesia, $44.4 million or 12.7 per cent; Niger, $7.35 million or 2 per cent and Colombia, $3.75 million or 1.06 per cent.
It would be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had said that the country would have been earning approximately $20 billion annually from processing of palm oil, that is, half of the 2022 federal budget.
The Governor of CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said over $500 million was being spent annually on the importation of palm oil. Emefiele recalled that in the late 50s and 60s, Nigeria was not only the world’s leading producer of palm oil, but was the largest exporter of palm oil, accounting for close to 40 per cent of the global market share. He noted: “We are determined to change this narrative
We intend to support improved production of palm oil to meet not only the domestic needs of the market, but to also increase our exports to improve our forex earnings.
“As part of our Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS), CBN will work with large corporate stakeholders and smallholder farmers to ensure the availability of quality seeds for this year’s planting season.”
The governor stressed that with the help of the state governments, Nigeria could reach self-sufficiency in palm oil between 2022 and 2024 and ultimately overtake Thailand and Columbia to become the third-largest producer over the next few years.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Foremost Development Services Limited and Advisor to Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON), Mr Fatai Afolabi, while speaking at a forum organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) in Lagos recently disclosed that 40 per cent of all palm oil plantations in Malaysia were owned or farmed by small-scale farmers, whereas, it was over 70 per cent smallscale owned in Nigeria.