Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has inaugurated the board of Adapalm Nigeria Ltd with a promise that his government will not meddle in the operations of the organisation.
Inaugurating the board which has Mr. Mustapha Chike Obi as Chairman on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at the New Executive Chamber Government House Owerri, Governor Uzodimma reminded the members which includes Mr. Paul Roche, the managing director of Roche West Africa Limited, among others, that they are independent and that the Government will only expect result from them.
Governor Uzodimma charged the Board to “adhere strictly to laid down procedures in the execution of their mandate” promising on behalf of his Government, to avail them of the much needed support they require to succeed.
His words: “This ceremony is significant in the affairs of the State in three ways. First, it underscores the State’s determination to ensure the turnaround of the State’s economy through agriculture and industrialization.
Second, it is a yardstick for the confirmation of the workability of the private public partnership (PPP) for the good of the people. Finally, it gives impetus to the State’s drive to empower indigenes by making them co-owners of the Company cited in their locality.”
The Governor informed of his administration’s efforts in the reactivation of the moribund industries he inherited and “determination to empower Imo people to take their destinies into their hands.”
He said to achieve these, “indigenes shall no longer be spectators in the running of companies located in their area but co-owners as this will make them accountable for the successful operations of such companies in their homeland.”
The Governor explained that in line with the 3-R mantra of his government, he deemed it fit to “explore ways to bring Adapalm back to life with the overall objective to stimulate the economy, generate employment and add value to the lives of Imo people.”
He expressed joy that efforts made so far in the revival of Adapalm yielded the expected results, hence the inauguration of the Board.
Making reference to the old thinking that Government cannot successfully run companies of Adapalm magnitude for obvious reasons, the Governor said his Government decided to enter into a tripartite agreement involving the Government, core investors and the host Community.
He said under the PPP, Roche West Africa Limited, an Irish Company and Advanced Palmoil Limited are partnering the State Government and Ohaji Community for the smooth and profitable running of the Company.
Governor Uzodimma emphasized that “unlike before when the Company concentrated solely on the production of Palm oil, the current agreement will involve the production of other ancilliary products such as margarine, processed wood, palm kernels and many more products that result from palm trees. In other words, there will be value chain activities in the company.”
Again, the Governor informed that to assist the Company in its operations, Government has already procured and planted 140, 000 seedlings across 4,000 hectares of land to feed the mill.
“In return it is expected that more than 30,000 jobs will be created when the Company reaches optimal productivity. This year alone, 2,500 direct jobs will be generated.This is why the host Community which is the ultimate beneficiaries of the turnaround of Adapalm Ltd should do everything humanly possible to safeguard and protect the company and ensure it flourishes,” the Governor explained.
Reassuring Imo people of what to expect in the years ahead, the Governor said what his administration has done in Adapalm shall be replicated in other Government owned Companies which have been abandond for many years.
He said the State Government has already initiated talks with Israeli Company that built Imo Modern Poultry, Avutu, so that jointly it will be revived and run for profitability.
He reiterated his determination to resuscitate and re-energize all the legacies left by late former Governor of Imo State, Sam Mbakwe.
The Governor however noted that the Board he inaugurated for Adapalm is more or less a pilot scheme to test run how the PPP works for Imo people, and charged the board and management to work extra hard to prove their mettle.
He reiterated that their successes in Adapalm will be a road map towards the realization of his administration’s dreams for other moribund industries.
The Governor said: “You cannot afford to fail.”
This, he predicated on the fact that all members of the Board were carefully selected based on their track record of service.
He then urged them to “avail the company of their experience, expertise and competence for its anticipated success.”
In his acceptance remarks on behalf of his colleagues, the Chairman of the Board, former Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Assets Management Company of Nigeria and currently, Chairman of board of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Mustapha Chike Obi, said they are humbled to have been selected for the assignment and assured of putting in their best to ensure that the aims and objectives of reviving Adapalm are realized.
He acknowledged that the Governor has put a lot of facilities in place to ensure that the Company reaches the target of economic turnaround, job creation and empowerment of the Community and therefore promised that the Company, under his watch, will not fail the indigenes, the Government and people of Imo State.
Present at the inauguration were: the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku and members of expanded Executive Council.
Eng. Uche Orji and Taiwo Ajayi of Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and leaders of Adapalm Communities and other Critical Stakeholders were also present