• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Ban export of soya beans to protect local investments, prevent job losses – group tells FG

Ban export of soya beans to protect local investments, prevent job losses – group tells FG

The umbrella body of processors of oil seeds in Nigeria, Oil Seeds Processors Association of Nigeria (OSPAN) has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ban the export of soya beans from Nigeria to protect local investment and prevent job losses.

This is contained in a statement signed by Sama’ila Barau-Maigoro and Hule Idyerkas, the President and Vice President respectively and made available to newsmen in Lafia

According to the association, the export of soya beans should be banned and the government should encourage value addition.

The group said that if soya oil could be processed in a large scale, it has the capacity to serve the entire country and also stabilise the price of vegetable oil locally.

It said: “Our members are investors in large, medium and small-scale processing of Nigerian-grown arable Oil Seeds into high-quality edible vegetable oil and high-quality oil extracts for industrial use.

“Presently our combined installed capacity per annum is well over three million metric tons with a total investment portfolio of about USD 250 million.

Read also: Soya beans prices outstrip cocoa, ginger to emerge January’s biggest gainer

“We are currently one of the leading employers of labour in the agricultural sector, providing over 200, 000 direct jobs to both skilled and unskilled labour (mostly youths and women) and millions of indirect jobs to farmers and other actors in the Value Chain.

“We want the Tinubu administration and Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, most of our factories and processing facilities are closed down due to unavailability of raw materials, especially Soya Beans.”

The statement added that in 2022, Nigerian farmers produced about 680,000 metric tonnes of Soya Beans, but instead of selling to Nigerian processors, they preferred the export window due to higher earnings made from foreign exchange.

Read also: Making millions from Soybeans

“This situation is dire and poses a very significant threat to the Nigerian economy because it puts the effort of the government to diversify the economy, the collective investments of patriotic Nigerians and the livelihoods of many Nigerians that are employed and engaged in the arable oil seed sector at risk.

“Nigeria is not one of the net producers of Soya Beans in the world and this new trend of exporting the produce is presently causing a severe imbalance.

“It is hampering their processing capacity as well as subjecting domestic users of the oil and other extracts to the pains of procuring them at very high cost,” it said.

OPSAN pleaded for quick intervention and immediate action by the present administration, by imposing a ban on the export of soya beans.

“This temporary ban if implemented, will allow us to stabilise the supply-demand dynamics of soya beans, ensure its availability for local processors, and safeguard investments.

“Additionally, it will support the growth and development of the oil seed processing industry in Nigeria, ultimately nurturing economic prosperity and employment generation,” it said.