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Okomu to build Africa’s largest mill

By on June 11, 2013

To boost yield from oil palm and rubber plantations in the country, Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc has revealed plans to build the biggest oil mill in Africa.

The plan, which will see the company expanding its oil mill from a production capacity of 30 tonnes per hour to 60 tonnes per hour was disclosed by the company’s Chairman, Gbenga Oyebode, at the company’s yearly general meeting in Abuja, recently.

According to him, the expansion of its oil mill, which will double its production capacity from 30t/hr to 60t/hr thereby making it the largest oil mill in Africa has already commenced and is scheduled for completion before the peak in 2014.

In a statement made available to The Guardian, the company noted that the programme includes the planting of a total of 600 hectares of rubber in 2013 and another 700 hectares, which has already been cleared, will be planted in 2014.

Oyebode further explained that the company’s expansion programme will boost yield from its oil palm and rubber plantations and grow the revenue of the company, noting that the last 1,200 hectares of clearing is expected to begin in October 2013.

In the same vein, the company added that it will continue its replant programme with another 402 hectares of oil palm in 2013 and a similar amount to be replanted in 2014, among others.

Besides, the company also announced the payment of a dividend of N7.00 for every 50kobo share to its shareholders for the year ended 2012. The dividend, the highest ever paid in the company’s history, is 29 per cent higher than that of N5.50 it paid to shareholders in 2011.

The company also gave a bonus of one new share for every existing ordinary share of 50k held by each shareholder of the company.

Oyebode noted that company recorded a combined consolidated turnover of N10.1 billion in 2012, in spite of the lower-than-average commodity prices and trade volumes occasioned by the continuing worldwide financial crisis and uncertainty in the Euro Zone and USA which continued to influence negatively in consumer spending during the year under review.

“Commodity prices, as a result of this crisis, dropped significantly, especially rubber prices, and this, amongst others, had an influence on the company’s profits in 2012. Notwithstanding these challenges, the company managed to perform admirably and this can be seen in the record highs achieved by our share price over this period,” the Chairman said.

He, however, observed that the company operations, encountered significant security challenges on daily basis in form of disruptions from militants and kidnapping of its personnel, and attributed the company’s survival to the pro-active engagement of the management with local community, adopted by the company.

He informed the shareholders of the company that its main focus in 2013 is expansion and assured them of the company’s commitment to growth with continuous planting while looking for other opportunities across the country.

National Coordinator Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sunny Nwosu, expressed appreciation to the management for a job well done and urged them not to rest on their oars in the years ahead to ensure that Okomu Oil remains on the part of growth.