ESIA Assessment: Community lauds ESOPP, Fayus for Sustainable Oil Palm Development in Edo State
By Ogbebor Tony Ikponmwosa
Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Hon. Mohammed Abdullahi, has emphasised the potential of oil palm investment in Edo State to create employment opportunities and boost revenue generation at both the state and federal levels.
Representing the Honorable Minister, Ms. E.M. Odimayo conveyed this message during the review meeting of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) exercise for the proposed 5000-hectare oil palm plantation by Fayus Nigeria Limited in Benin City, Edo State.
Highlighting the project’s commendable benefits, Hon. Mohammed reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to diversify the economy and achieve a 700 percent increase in domestic output by 2027.
He emphasized the importance of recognizing environmental planning, protection, and sustainability, which aligns with the key objectives of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Protecting and improving air, water, land, forest, wildlife, and socio-economic components are major mandates of the Federal Ministry of Environment, as provided in section 20 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Churchill Oboh, the Acting Team Lead of the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP), highlighted the Edo State Government’s commitment to prioritize sustainability and community involvement throughout the oil palm investment process.
Mr. Oboh stressed the imperative nature of investors complying with RSPO principles and criteria. These principles serve as drivers for sustainable palm oil development, ensuring prosperity, protecting socio-economic values, and safeguarding the environment.
Expressing satisfaction with the ESIA, Mr. Oboh emphasized that the ESIA Assessment is a key requirement of RSPO before commencing the oil palm project. He stated that Fayus Nigeria Limited, like every other ESOPP investor, is mandated to comply with RSPO guidelines and implement sustainable practices at all stages of their investment journey.
Also addressing the audience, Mr. Olufunso Akintewe, the Project Director of Fayus Nigeria Limited, reassured stakeholders of Fayus’ unwavering commitment to global best practices, emphasizing community inclusiveness throughout the project. He highlighted that the establishment of ESOPP aims to dispel misconceptions related to oil palm investment in the state by setting proper guidelines for investors to follow.
“As an international business company, we ensure community engagement and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements,” Mr. Olufunso said.
Representatives from Ora and Iuleha clans in the Owan West Local Government Area, Edo State, were present at the meeting.
The representatives expressed heartfelt gratitude to Fayus for introducing an exceptional investment project in their domain. The transformative nature of the project was recognized as a catalyst for economic development and an invaluable source of employment opportunities.