BENIN CITY- Chairman, Edo State House of Assembly Adhoc Committee on Companies Operating in Edo State, Hon. Chris Okaeben has commended Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc for its stride to complement government efforts in developing agriculture as the main-stay of the economy.
He made the commendation Tuesday, when members of the Adhoc Committee, who also include Hon. Crosby Eribo, Hon. Okunbor Nosa and Hon. Sylvanus Eruaga, paid a working visit to the company to ascertain challenges and problems being faced by companies operating in Edo State, particularly in the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Tax portfolios and their relationship with their host communities.
“In most of the companies we have visited, we are going to sit down and look at the various issues and items and matters arising from those deliberations. And of course, coming to Okomu this evening, it is an eye-opener,” he stated.
“My joy is that Okomu has been living up to expectation in terms of their corporate social responsibility and their taxes. I believe arising from what we have seen from the report presented to us by the MD, it suggests to us that inspite of the directive of the state government that all illegal collections are hereby disbanded, it seems some funny characters and miscreants have decided to take the law into their hands and disobey those others. At the parliament , we are going to do the needful and ensure that anyone caught will not go off the hook,” he declared.
He explained that the visit was strictly a partnership visit, in ensuring that the company is protected just as well as the people and constituents are protected.
Besides,” he noted that the contributions of Okomu is unlimited in terms of the development and the efforts they are putting in the revenue being generated and in terms of the environment, they have done well.
“W are following the global trend and we have been put on notice that in a matter of 15 years from now, oil or petroleum will no longer be the main stay, the mainstay will now be agriculture for Nigeria. I see everything that they are doing, I cannot but commend the company,” Hon. Okaeben stated.
He however advised youths in the state and the country to key into the potentials of agriculture to make a living for themselves and should jettison the get it quick attitude, saying however that they need a new orientation which is a process that should be accomplished.
He expressed regrets that the youths don’t believe that agriculture will put food on their table, noting that there are lot of advantages in the sector for the youths to tap into. It is not only a government responsibility, it is also for the clergy of the Christian and muslim regions make the youths to go into farming, he said.
In his remark the Managing Director of Okomu oil plc, Dr. Graham Hefer thanked the Ccommittee for the visit and stressed that the company has complied with all regulations that are required of it by government.
He however lamented on not being able to lay hands on some regulatory Acts of parliament that will always guide the company on areas that are not clear to it and what it actually should be doing.
He called for the removal of impediments to its operations, particularly on illegal tolls and extortions by touts as they hamper the company’s production capacity.