Enugu State Govt, Diamond Stripes Sign Deal to Revive Oil Palm Estate 

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The Enugu State government has signed an agreement with  Diamond Stripes Limited allowing the company to acquire the controlling shares in  the moribund United Palm Produce Limited (UPPL).

Diamond Stripes, using its Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)- Pragmatic Palm Limited, to broker the deal, says it’s mission is to revive the oil palm estate.

Diamond Stripes, established in 2007, is a dynamic investment firm focusing on sustainable infrastructure and early-stage projects. With a track record of successful collaborations in various sectors including hydropower generation, ports, solar power, and agro-processing, the company provides a platform for international and domestic capital resources, delivering exceptional returns for investors.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Enugu on Thursday, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Stripes Limited, Professor George Nwangwu, said palm products are in high demand.

He said that the United Palm Products Ltd was capable of kick-starting the economic transformation of Enugu State.

“We have to realise that agriculture is a business. We are going to bring in a lot of equipment and we are going to process the palm. Not just the palm, the palm kernel is an export commodity. If you go back and look at the biggest import over the years, palm is actually number five on the list. So, it is a significant product, and we tend to make sure we optimise its potential here,” he said.

The United Palm Products Limited’s three plantations in the state are located at Ugwuoba in Oji River Local Government Area, Akiyi, Umulokpa in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area and Ibite Olo in Ezeagu Local Government Area.

Nwangwu noted that the plantations can provide job opportunities to thousands of unemployed people in the state.

“Also, just to give you an example, to get the one at Oji River running, you are talking about close to 500 people because we need people to weed, to operate the plants and process it. So, you are also creating direct employment. If you put all these together, you can see that it runs into thousands of jobs,” he said.

He said the company aims to optimize palm oil production in the region and it is committed to revitalizing UPPL’s plantations, transforming them into a thriving oil palm production hub in the South East and indeed, Nigeria.

United Palm Products Ltd was set up by the state government to plant palm trees and engage in production of palm products such as palm oil and kernel, among others. The firm is an offshoot of the now defunct Agricultural Development Corporation established in 1970 by the then Eastern region government led by the then Premier Michael Okpara.

However, the United Palm Products Ltd has remained moribund as efforts by successive administrations in the state to revive it were unsuccessful but with the deal with Diamond Stripes Limited, an acclaimed agricultural processing firm, it is hoped that the moribund enterprise will come to life once again. 

It would be recalled that the Diamond Stripes Limited helmsman, Prof. George Nwangwu is renowned for his expertise in project finance, law and infrastructure finance. He brings a wealth of experience to the venture. As a social entrepreneur, his influence transcends academia and consultancy, cementing his position as a key figure in Africa’s legal and business spheres.

 

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