Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has disclosed that plans were underway to have a Chinese company invest in the agricultural sector of the state through the Public Private Partnership Program.
The Governor made this known in his office in Oke-Mosan, when he received a team from the Africa Development Bank who were on a 3-day visit to the state. He said that his government is much aligned to investors coming in their large numbers into the state.
The governor affirmed his administration’s plan to backwardly integrate into the Central Bank of Nigeria frame work which he said was meant to ban the provision of foreign exchange to some food items.
He said that once foreign exchange is removed from food items like rice, maize and cassava, the local demand for the items would be stimulated, thereby helping to stimulate the local production of the items.
The Governor noted that his administration would be focused on producing cassava, rice and maize, with the believe that the focus would help to stimulate the local economy as they won’t be foreign exchange.
He added that the state government would be engaging the Central Bank through its different programs and also issue Certificate of Ownership to the farmers…
“We in Ogun State have keyed in on these items, these food items are going to be our items of focus, our produce of focus, our crops of focus, we are going to be focused on producing cassava, rice and maize, believing that it will stimulate local production, since there won’t be forex for them.”
“We have engaged the Central Bank of Nigeria and they have different programs like the anchor borrowers program, the Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme, the Agro SMI Program, so we will provide the land for our youths and cooperative, we will give them the certificate of ownership for those lands, as it will give them a sense of ownership,” he said
The Governor also said that his administration is poised to grow crops and go into the business of producing livestock ranging from poultry and fishery, adding that with all the problems that is currently bewildering the country in the area of cattle and ranching, the state government have decided to have its own ranch and world class abattoir…
“In view of all the issues that we have with cattle and ranching in the country today, we have resolved that we are going to have our own ranch in Ogun state, we believe that we can have our ranch, a world class ranch, a world class abattoir that can provide beef services to supermarkets, individuals.”
In his remarks, the leader of the African Development Bank, Oladapo Olagoke, said that the bank is looking at how it can use the agricultural potentials of the state to empower its people, adding that the bank has come up with a ‘Next Steps’ model, which he said would help to take the discussion to a point of reality.
Olagoke disclosed that the bank is also willing to turn the state into the hub for Agro Industrialization in the country by using the state as an example to others in terms of creation of jobs for youths and how they could incorporate and develop programs that would empower the private sector to drive the agenda of agricultural transformation in the state.
– Wale Abiodun, Ogun State Correspondent