Ask Nigeria Header Logo

Palm oil imports cost Nigeria ₦94b yearly

Photo of author

By Abiodun Okunloye

Nigeria imports about one million MT of palm oil to support domestic demand.

Prof. Kehinde Owolarafe, a distinguished professor at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, who specialises in Agriculture and Environmental Engineering, recently disclosed that Nigeria is suffering an annual loss of ₦94 billion due to the importation of palm oil. During a one-day workshop in Osogbo titled “Promoting Palm Oil Value Chain Via Standardisation” organised by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the university professor subtly mentioned the importance of standardisation in promoting the palm oil value chain to a diverse audience of palm producers, distributors, processors, retailers, marketers, and users.

He lamented the decline from being the top country to now ranking fifth, with the challenge of reaching the two million tonne mark. He stated that Nigeria was once the top producer and exporter from 1920 to 1960, but now Indonesia and Malaysia hold the leading production globally. In recent years, there has been a rise in the production of palm oil in Nigeria. Despite this increase, the country still imports approximately one million metric tonnes of palm oil to support domestic production and satisfy the growing demand for the product.

Cautions were raised against the adulteration of palm oil by producers.

Also, he stressed the importance of enhancing both the quality and quantity of palm oil production to adhere to global export standards. This improvement is crucial for meeting the demands of the international market. He cautioned against adulteration by producers and marketers, emphasising the potential health risks to consumers. They stressed the importance of collective efforts to guarantee the production of top-quality oil. Malaysia and Indonesia share a similar climate and have been successful in their palm oil industries. Nigeria should consider restructuring its industry as well.

During the event, Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwunonso Okeke, the Director General, emphasised the significance of palm trees as a crucial crop with versatile uses for both consumption and industrial purposes. He pointed out that palm tree products play a significant role in the Nigerian oil market, accounting for around 70% annually. Similarly, Mrs. Tailatu Kudi Ethan, the Zonal Coordinator for the South West region, expressed that Nigeria still struggles to compete effectively with other global producers.

Local businesses import high-quality oil due to limited local production.

She noted that local businesses still rely on imported high-quality oil due to the need for more local production. The Director General further emphasised the need to implement advanced technology and strict hygiene protocols in manufacturing and preservation to prevent potential consumers from being exposed to harmful substances instead of nourishing food. The industry has the potential to provide job opportunities for a significant number of untrained and partially trained individuals. Improving production in Nigeria has the potential to reduce poverty levels, as seen in other countries that have focused on producing valuable commodities on a large scale.

The production is vital for Nigeria’s economy, offering millions of people employment and boosting revenue through exports. By decreasing the need for imported commodities, the industry bolsters food security and self-reliance in the country. Moreover, the presence of palm plantations in rural areas leads to economic development, providing opportunities for local communities and aiding in poverty alleviation. Nigeria’s continued growth and support of production can have far-reaching benefits for the economy and people’s well-being.

Related Article: Relevance of palm oil on Nigeria ecosystem

To bolster local producers, the government can introduce policies safeguarding them from unjust competition, like imposing tariffs on imported oil. Investing in research and development to enhance farming methods and boost productivity can aid local producers in sustaining competitiveness internationally. Moreover, offering accessible credit and extension services can elevate Nigeria’s efficiency and sustainability in production. By implementing these measures, the government can support and strengthen the local industry, contributing to the country’s economic growth and job creation.

Related Link:

Wikipedia: Website

The content on is given for general information only and does not constitute a professional opinion, and users should seek their own legal/professional advice. There is data available online that lists details, facts and further information not listed in this post, please complete your own investigation into these matters and reach your own conclusion. accepts no responsibility for losses from any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of content contained in this website and/or other websites which may be linked to this website.

Fact Checking Tool -