The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has elected Mr Alphonsus Inyang as its national president.
In the election conducted during the association's annual general meeting held at the conference room of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Abuja, Inyang beat other contestants to clinch the position
Earlier in his remark before the election, the outgoing national president of the association, Mr Henry Olatujoye, recognized the importance of oil palm as a crop that represents an economic asset of incredible potential for Nigeria.
He noted that palm produce is a vital economic enabler capable of unleashing enormous economic growth and engendering sustainable economy for the country.
Olatujoye took time to commend the Akwa Ibom government for hosting the first international conference on oil palm in 2013 (IPPC 2013) in Uyo which was attended by many countries.
He also noted with appreciation the notable contributions of the Federation Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN) national president, Dr Victor Iyama, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and Nigeria Institute for Oil Research (NIFOR) to the association.
He called on all those aspiring to lead the association to ensure that they have the interest and capacity to lead.
While thanking past presidents of the association, Olatujoye singled out a former president of the association, Elder Bassey, for special mention for his contributions to the growth of the association.
After a keenly contested election, Mr Alphonsus Inyang emerged the new national president of the association while C.Y. Standard Igwe was elected -vice president (South East), Harrison Okpamen -vice president (South South), Omiyale Abiodun -vice president (South West), Hassan Wada -vice president (North Central), Kayode Babatola -national general secretary, Victor Atu -assistant general secretary, Bobade Adebayo -national treasurer, Engr Adaugo Obi -national financial secretary, Mrs Bernadette Ekanem -public relations officer, Steve Eghen -ex-officio 1 and Amos Gandu as ex-officio 2.
In his acceptance speech after the election, the new national president thanked members of the association for the confidence reposed in him and pledged to work assiduously towards building a vibrant association alive to its responsibilities in ensuring that palm produce takes back its pride of place as the number one contributor to the national economy.
The new president promised to carry out some reforms within the association through a review of the constitution so as to bring the association in line with developments and current issues in other palm produce countries of the world.
"Elections are over. I see every member as a vital component of our association. We are together in unity and determined to move our association forward. I will embark on a tour of the 24 oil palm producing states in the country to galvanize our members and bring them up to speed with current realities in the industry.
"I will collaborate with oil palm development partners like NIFOR, MADE, RMRDC, FMITI, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, state governments, the CBN, SON, NAFDAC etc. in developing the industry, the association and most importantly, the smallholders farmers. I am happy to announce that NIFOR has agreed to organize a two-wee training for NPPAN members on nursery operation, the new president stated.
The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria is the second oldest commodity association. It was founded in 1991 as the second commodity association after the Cocoa Association of Nigeria.
Alphonsus Inyang, the new president, is the group managing director of The Hebron Group. The Hebron Group has a wide interest in rice milling, palm produce, ranching, feed milling, poultry production and processing.
The Hebron Group has its operations in many countries of the world. Its subsidiaries include Hebron Integrated Farms and Mills Ltd â€¢ Hebron and Brooks Agro Ltd â€¢ Hebron Farms (Ethiopia) PLC â€¢ Hebron Integrated Farms (Sierra Leone)Ltd, Hebron and Salem Logistics Ltd â€¢ Hebron Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd â€¢ Hebron Environmental Works Ltd â€¢ Hebron Integrated Farms Inc, USA.