How the Palm oil in my village birthed a booming business and changed my life

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Kingsley Peter Akpan is a native of Mbiabong Ikot Udofia, in INI Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom. He holds a first degree in Estate Management. He is a trader in the Oil Palm Business- Palm Oil, Palm kernel, Palm Kernel Oil and Oil Palm plantation consultancy. His specialization is in Palm Oil. Kingsley runs Akpania Farms Limited, a business that produces edible, unadulterated, palm oil in Akwa Ibom, South-South Nigeria and sells to Lagos markets.

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Kingsley ventured into the business in 2017 during a visit to his village, Mbiabong. According to him, “I was shown around some of my ancestral palm trees and my village mill. I had bought a small, 100 litres of freshly milled palm oil from my kinsmen and kinswomen at the mill, and then I filled the palm oil into (4) separate 25-litre kegs. I took these to Lagos where my mother’s friends bought everything on the spot. I knew instantly at that moment that there was potential in the business and a market for my palm oil if only I will provide the best, unadulterated palm oil. I decided at that moment never to look back”

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The total annual consumption of palm oil moved progressively from 1.3Million metric tonnes in 2018 to 1.7 Million metric tonnes in 2020. With a population of 200 million people, Nigeria is the largest consumer of palm oil in Africa with an exponential leap annually. The economic potential is of intrinsic value, the market value is over 500 billion with a guaranteed, competitive return on investment(ROI) for investors.

Kingsley says he started the business with N70,000. His first transaction, a 100 litres content, was N40,000. Containers were bought at N5,000 while the landing cost to Lagos was N5,000, For logistics of movement from Lagos to Akwa Ibom and back he spent N20,000.
Kingsley has recorded successes in the business. He informs, “In 2018 I was asked to do a supply to a customer worth about 10,000 litres. Again in 2020, I submitted samples of Akpania Palm Oil to some industries with the purpose of doing large industrial supplies. My product satisfactorily met their parameters of Free Fatty Acid, palmitic acid and Moisture levels. I consider the exposure I got from that transaction, a huge success too”.

In 2018, with the intervention of Mrs Meflyn Anwana, I got an opportunity to scale being that she gave me a business support of N500,000. This had a tremendous impact on the Scaling of Akpania PalmOil, helping us to attain economies  of scales.
With consistency, focus, tenacity and integrity, we have continued to build on that opportunity.We have also benefited from the Mrs Meflyn Anwana  Entrepreneurship First Class story prize aggregator and ecosystem
The Opportunity has been tremendous through the varied opportunities available, our Business, Akpania Palm Oil has enjoyed veritable visibility. Thanks  to Mrs Meflyn Anwana, Investors have just recently expressed interest to partner with us and scale up further.
Akpania Palm Oil is currently on a trajectory of business expansion and growth that will enable Akpania Farms offer employment to our teeming youths as we also set our eyes on becoming a household name, trading our public offer shares  and ultimately being quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange .

His low points come during the rainy seasons when his customer’s demand exceeds the available supply at the mill. The processes are still very crude. The business does not have specialized, industrial machines that can mill large metric tonnes within a short interval as it obtains in advanced climes. Because the local mills also do not have storage, the business oftentimes loses some of the demand as they can only supply what they have.

Giving up in the face of challenges is not part of Kingsley’s plan. He says, “No. Challenges are springboards. All great achievements are made amidst challenges. I have never thought of giving up, rather I believe that my business will progressively become bigger”.

The business is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as AKPANIA FARMS LIMITED, RC 1422357 and Incorporated as a limited liability company on 3rd July 2017.
Explaining further, Kingsley says, “I began the business as a sole proprietorship. Now my wife manages the store in Lagos while I manage the supply chains to homes, stores, restaurants, hotels and cafeterias in Lagos. A small group of five(5) foremen work for us at the mill but only during the palm oil production periods. They are not permanent staff yet.”

He points out Mrs Ekaette Joseph-Isang and Mrs Meflyn Anwana as his business mentor.

Kingsley seeks partnership with policymakers and investors to scale his business in two phases: The Short term and the Long term. He explains:

“In the short term, Investors can assist me with funding, to scale up from my current average capacity of 20 tonnes to 40 tonnes annually. The arrangement will be mutually beneficial with investors also recouping their investments while at the same time, contributing to the development of our nation’s agricultural sector. I will also need assistance for the storage and fabrication of specialized machines that can mill large tones of palm oil within a short interval and especially to meet up with the unique parameters for industrial palm oil used by industries in their saponification and cosmetic processes.

In the long term, investors can assist Akpania Farm to plant high yielding Super Gene species on a 5000 hectares Oil Palm Plantation.”

Kingsley advises entrepreneurs to remain focused, learn the ropes from people already in the business to avoid pitfalls and never be afraid to ask questions when in doubt.

Entrepreneurship is the heartbeat of development. It is evident that the most enterprising and transactional cities and States all over the world, are also the biggest cities and mega centres of commerce and trade and culture. Kingsley believes that entrepreneurship will boost the internally generated revenue of Akwa Ibom State and create jobs for the teeming youths and also lead to quantum development.

He looks to the future with optimism, “Within the next two years, by the Grace of God, I see Akpania Palm Oil on the shelves of African Stores abroad and penetrating the American, European and Afro-Caribbean markets. In the late 1970s, the Malaysians came to our shores to collect oil palm seeds. Today, they and the Indonesians are the world’s largest producers. A new generation of Nigerians like myself, believe that we can reclaim our pride of place and become the world’s largest producer as we used to be. We also believe that we can use our enterprising spirits and energy of youth to change the narrative about Africa for good.”

Let this inspiring story of Kingsley Akpan motivate you to venture into the palm oil business today.

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3 thoughts on “How the Palm oil in my village birthed a booming business and changed my life”

  1. Akpania Palm Oil is the only palm oil I use. Finding unadulterated oil in Lagos can be luxury. It the best so far. I use it and also supply to my family and friends. They love it for it taste and quality.

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