The European Union (EU) on Thursday denied the rumour of its proposed ban on palm oil importation from Nigeria to its member-countries.

The Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr Kurt Cornelis, who refuted the rumour during a sensitisation workshop organised by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) on the proposed ban of palm oil importation to the EU, said that the EU had no plan to ban palm oil importation.

Cornelis clarified further: “It is not true that the EU was planning to ban palm oil importation to the union from Nigeria. We are not considering any ban on oil importation from the third world countries, we think there is some confusion somewhere.’’

He explained that in June 30, the EU Parliament and Council reached an agreement on bio-fuel for renewable energy, pointing out however that the renewable energy directive does not propose ban on oil.

According to him, the EU would focus on investment and partnership with banks in its next programme that would last for 10 years with a view to supporting economic development initiatives in the country.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms Yewande Sadiku, disclosed that the commission had received a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the EU proposed to ban the importation of palm oil to the union.

Sadiku, who was represented at the forum by a Director in the commission, Hajiya Ladi Katagum, said that the workshop was primarily organised to discuss the proposed ban.

Noting that the objective of the commission is to encourage, promote and coordinate investment in the nation’s economy, Sadiku said that the commission was expected to monitor all investment promotion activities, initiate and support measures which shall enhance the investment climate in Nigeria.

In his remarks at the event, the National President, Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria, Mr Hilary Uche, identified one of the challenges facing palm produce farmers in the country as lack of capacity building for small scale farmers.

He charged the Federal Government to encourage development in the sector in view of its job creation potential and to adopt policy measures that will ensure standards in the production of palm oil in the country.