Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State on Monday said that plans were underway to have a Chinese company invest in the agricultural sector of the state through the Public Private Partnership Programme.
Prince Abiodun who made this known in his office in Oke-Mosan, when he received a team from the Africa Development Bank who were on a three-day visit to the state, said that his government was much aligned to investors coming in their large numbers into the state.
Abiodun who also played host to the Executive Director/CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo, solicited collaboration to enable seamless export of goods and services that emanate from Ogun State.
The governor reaffirmed his administration’s plan to backwardly integrate into the Central Bank of Nigeria framework, which he said, was meant to ban the provision of foreign exchange for some food items.
Abiodun said that once the foreign exchange was 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.
He noted that his administration would be focused on producing cassava, rice and maize, with the belief that the focus would help to stimulate the local economy as their 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 are 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 will stimulate local production, since there won’t be forex for them.
” We have engaged the Central Bank of Nigeria and they have different interventions like the anchor borrowers program, the Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme, the Agro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises scheme etc; 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
Abiodun also said that his administration was poised to grow crops and go into the business of producing live stocks ranging from poultry and fishery, adding that with all the problems that were currently bewildering the country in the area of cattle and ranching, the state government had 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 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,” he said.
In his remarks, the leader of the African Development Bank, Oladapo Olagoke, said that the bank was looking at how it could 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 was 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.
Mr Awolowo promised to use his good office to fast track the vision of the Governor, especially, in the area of agricultural productivity and human capital development.
He said with the private sector background of the Governor, he would be able to transform the State into an industrial giant and a hub that would earn foreign exchange for the country through exporting finished products.
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