Wilmar plantation, a subsidiary of Biase Plantations Limited (BPL) has invested over N45 billion in its plantations and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in Cross River State.
In addition, the company is the largest private employer in the state with more than 3000 workers and more than 30,000 persons that indirectly benefit on its investment in the state and beyond.
Briefing newsmen on its investments and other activities in the state, the Sustainability Manager of Wilmar, Mr. Asen Ako said this billions of naira were spent on contracts and infrastructural development and CSR handled by local companies in the state.
He said BPL through a state government privatization process purchased Ibiae Estate put at 5,594.012 hectres and Calaro Estate with 5,549.801 hectres and soon the plantation will commence production having installed a state of the art milling plant that is capable of milling all harvests of a week in the two estates in 12 hours.
For now, he said the company’s first palm oil mill is still undergoing test runs and is yet to start full scale commercial operations.
On commitment to host communities, Ako said, “BPL has a robust CSR package for communities around its operation and this package is geared towards education, capacity building, health, employment, and economic development.
“In our support to education around our catchment area. To date, we have committed N253,785,027 to Onun Secondary school Mbarakom which is 100 percent completed; N116,574,542 (Camp 2 Primary School – 50% completed); N104,627,161.70 (Ibiae Primary School – 90% completed); N226,160,500 (Aningeje Secondary School – 75% completed)”.
The company according to him, is still “putting in more money to make sure that all the schools become reference standards and from were future managers of the company will be educated and under the best learning condition.
“In our schools, we make provision for library, computer labs and science labs, we also provide free housing for teachers within the campus, free electricity and much more (you can see this for yourself while on site).
“As part of our CSR, we have offered 144 tertiary education scholarships since 2014/2015 school year.
Scholarship is awarded each year to two students from each of the 20 communities that make up our catchment area.
The scholarship is such once a student starts benefiting, it goes on till the student complete the course enrolled for in the university”.