As part of the over-sight function of the legislature, a seven-man delegation of members of the Imo State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Hon. Ben Uwajumogu, recently toured the Imo Palm Plantation (IPP), Ohaji, formerly Adapalm.
The legislators were conducted round the facilities by the top officials of the managing firm, ROCHE, including the nersery section, mill section, palm plantation section among others, leaving the law-makers thoroughly impressed.
Addressing the management and staff of the plantation, Speaker Uwajumogu expressed satisfaction with the rapid transformation of the plantation under the new management.
He urged the workers to remain committed to their duties assuring that government would clear the severance and leave allowances as well as the 18 months’ salary arrears owed workers of the defunct Adapalm.
To underscore how impressed he was with the achievements at the company, the legislator representing Nwangele, Hon Ugonna Ozuruigbo, promised to install an MTN mast at the plantation to boost telecommunication services.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of ROCHE (IPP), Mr. Neil Danby disclosed that the company has increased its production capacity by at least 20% commending the workers for their commitment and especially the Estate Manager, Mr Saggas who he described as “the best in the company”.
The managing director further stated that the existing and aging palm trees are to be gradually replaced with high-yielding variety with over 80,000 such palm seedlings being raised in the plantations nursery adding that eventually the company would export her various products owing to the expected increase in palm oil production.
He added that roads have been opened up in the plantation for unhindered harvesting of palm fruits assuring that the company would be equal to its social responsibilities to the host communities through youth empowerment.
Contributing, the chairman of the workers’ union of IPP, Comrade Paul Nwaukwo expressed satisfaction with the take-over of the plantation by ROCHE and pledged workers’ loyalty to the company describing the managing director, Mr. Danby as competent and hardworking.
He, however, appealed for the payment of severance and leave allowances as well as 18 months salary arrears to the workers of the defunct Adapalm.