With waivers we can generate N320trn annually, coconut producers tell FG

The National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) has pleaded with the federal government to grant a waiver to the association in order to import varieties of coconut and also collaborate in coconut export to generate up to N320 trillion annually.

Addressing journalists Wednesday in Abuja during the flag-off of the 2021 coconut planting season, with the theme “Actualising coconut sufficiency in Nigeria (COSIN): Planting coconut trees with economic, health and export potentials”, president of the association, Mrs Okoroji Okechukwu, said the event marked the first step to climb the ladder of success towards the realisation of the association’s six year’s strategic plan (2021-2027) called ‘NACOPPMAN’s COSIN project’.

She said: “With government support, we’ll ensure the creation of annual income earnings of about 320 trillion naira to the Nigerian economy, employment generation for 100,000 result-oriented women and energetic youth, exponential growth in our Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

“For the actualisation of our objectives, we request for coconut seedlings import duty waiver for the importation of one million innovative varieties from Malaysia and Indonesia to complement the local varieties; in order to improve production for local consumption and export.

“NACOPPMAN needs sponsorship for the establishment of sixty thousand hectares of coconut plantation in each of the geopolitical zones, with the cost of six million naira. We request for the inclusion of NACCOPMAN in the CBN Anchors Borrower’s Programme and support of the government in regards to funding for research and development on coconuts.

“Also, we request for the establishment of processing hubs in all the geopolitical zones for value addition for exports. Government’s support in establishing linkages for partnership/collaboration with the major coconut producing communities in the world for training programs on modern techniques for planting and processing of the coconut products is a necessity.

“The Federal Government should assist the association in getting an export market for the variety of products, especially coconut oil. Government should assist in registering the association in the coconut community based in Asia. We call for collaboration with state governors to allocate lands for the establishment of the NACOPPMAN COSIN PROJECT in all the Coconut viable States. We also call for the support of the government concerning the establishment of Coconut Seed Bank for the availability of innovative viable seedlings.”