Delta State Government has commended the management of IMC Palm Oil Plantation in Nsukwa, Aniocha South Local Government Area for contributing towards the socio-economic development of the state.
The commendation was made by the State Commissioner For Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Julius Egbedi, during the commissioning of a brand new Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) loading ramp and the launch of retail palm oil bottling section in the premises of the company at the weekend.
The commissioner said that the decision of the company was a great step towards boosting the economy of the state, adding that the IMC plantation had been of great blessing to Delta State.
In the event, which was attended by the Local Government Chairman and the Nsukwa traditional ruler, the commissioner said beside providing employment for the people of Delta State, the IMC plantation had contributed to addressing the problem of rural-urban drift and youth restiveness in the state.
Mr. Egbedi, who restated the state government’s resolve to transform the state agricultural sector to boost productivity, said the state government was poised to reform and accelerate industrialization in the agricultural sector.
He said the state government would forge and sustain a structured relationship with the farming population with a view to enhancing production, processing, packaging and marketing of all agricultural products.
To this end, he said since the inception of the Okowa’s administration, the state government had committed over N580 million to palm oil development and within this month of May, eighty eight million Naira has been approved for the oil palm production sector.
The commissioner announced that the IMC plantation had taken a leading step in the achievement of inclusive value chain development in the state by the establishment of the new FFB loading ramp and the retail palm oil bottling section.
He said: “This achievement is a rare feat when viewed under the difficult situation that the world is undergoing amidst the coronavirus pandemic. We have always known the management of IMC plantation as a hardworking, courageous and result oriented officials.”
Chairman of Aniocha South local government area, Chief Isaac Anwuzia, who was represented by Secretary to the Local Government, Ikechukwu Nwabuokei, expressed amazement at the feat so far achieved by the management of the IMC plantation.
He said IMC plantation is a blessing to the Nsukwa community and the local government area. He listed all the corporate social responsibility of the IMC to the community to include paying honorarium to the community, rendering assistance to the community nursery and primary school, buying books and employing teachers for the school.
The chairman also said the IMC plantation also take care of the medical needs of the school children and a lot of others.
Acting General Manager of the IMC plantation, Michael Kemeh-Mensah, said the commissioning of the new ramp became necessary following the collapsed of the old ramp which had served the company for the past 35 years.
He said the collapsed had caused a lot of losses due to operational inefficiencies in the absence of a ramp and causing reduction of oil quality.
He said the management decided to fix the ramp so as to reduce the cost of running fuel in the company.
He said the firm is committed to fully rehabilitate all old and obsolete plants and machinery as one of the giants in the palm oil production in the country.
He also listed the corporate social responsibility matters which the firm has carried out in the community.
He said the company has carried out monthly financial assistance to teachers of the Nsukwa local primary and nursery school, the periodic provision of text books to support learning and the support for the medicals of the pupils.
The Obi of Nsukwa, HRM Dr. Kenneth Ezegbune, who was represented by Chief Bolu Felix and Chief Lawrence Chukwuji, expressed happiness at the transformation in the plantation, even as he said the firm was doing well.
The highpoint of the ceremony was the commissioning of the FFB loading ramp and the new bottling section of the company. Thereafter, the company presented bottles of oil in packs to the commissioner, the Obi of Nsukwa, the local government, the landlords of the IMC with a promise to present 3000 bottles to the Delta state government.