Benin, Nov. 2, 2023: Mr Charles Eghobamien, the President and Chief Executive Officer, Sunora Foods, says the company will commit about US$100 million as foreign direct investment in oil palm production and other crops in Edo.
Eghobamien made this known during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gov. Godwin Obaseki in Benin on Thursday.
He explained that the investment would be targeted at five aspects of production, adding that the first would be to acquire 15,000 hectares of land to plant oil palm for the next five years.
“The second is a crush facility for Soya beans and other oil seed crops, and the third will be 12 hundred tons per day edible oil refinery.
“The fourth, a bottling line and a 15,000 bottle per hour bottling lines and the fifth will be an animal feeds processing facility,” he said.
Eghobamien explained that the investment would lead to the creation of 10,000 direct and 15,000 indirect jobs in Edo.
He added that Sunora foods would begin with oil palm plantation, with the goal of selling red palm oil and refining same into vegetable oil.
“We are ready to start in January 2024 as soon as we get the land concession, we will begin planting.
‘Currently, Edo state has one major palm oil refinery which is Presco oil Plc, Okomu oil does not refine as you all know.
“So, this will be a step in the right direction to bridge the gap in palm oil refinery, particularly in Edo state.
“Edo has a lot of palm oil plantation, it makes sense to have this opportunity to refine oil here to make it available not just for the local market but also for regional and later for the international market.
“The advantage there is our specialty. We understand how to refine oil to meet international standard.
“Sunora foods is a 30+years old entity trading in red oil and vegetable oil and marketed across the world, including the USA, Canada and China,” he added.
According to him, “that is why we have come to bring this here. Right now, we ae attracting foreign direct Investment of over US$100 million into this venture in Edo state.
Also speaking, Gov. Obaseki, while congratulating Sunora foods, said Edo government had always supported entrepreneurs and other business groups.
Obaseki implored them to be very diligent and also manage their expansion well, adding that he trusted the company to bring on board their wealth of experience.
“As a government, we will continue to create the enabling environment for your investment to thrive, safe and to obtain the level of returns that you expected to sustain the investment,” Obaseki said.
Mrs Itohan Eribo, the Acting Managing Director, Edo State Skills Development Agency (Edojobs), said that the agency was created by the state government to create employment for the people.
“This is one of the ways we are promoting job creation.
“When this partnership comes to reality, it will attract over 10,000 jobs to Edo people because of the scope.
“So, when we saw this kind of project it was for us to bring it to the notice of the governor because it is something that will benefit the people of Edo state,” Eribo said.