The European Union (EU) has no plan to ban the importation of palm oil from Nigeria into markets in Europe.
This clarification was made by the Head of Co-operation of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Kurt Cornelis, during a sensitisation workshop on the proposed ban of palm oil importation to the EU organised by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) held yesterday in Abuja.
Cornelis told participants at the workshop that the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS had investigated the claim and found that there was no any proposal or approval for a ban on palm oil to the EU markets.
He further clarified that the EU was concerned with the impact of palm oil production on the environment, including deforestation and child labour, but had no intention to place a ban on the commodity.
He said the misconception might have arose from the recent policy on renewable energy considered and approved by the EU parliament on reduction of importation of fossil fuels and promotion of environment-friendly sources of energy.
The Executive Secretary of the NIPC, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, said the commission received a letter from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to sensitise stakeholders on a proposed ban on importation of palm oil into EU markets.
Represented by a Director in the commission, Hajiya Ladi Katagum, the Executive Secretary said Nigeria had a palm oil industry that was significant to the EU market and that it was important to convene the workshop to bring the development to the attention of critical stakeholders.
However, there was no official of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in attendance at the workshop.