October 5, 2020

Abisola Olusanya: New advocate for agriculture

Abisola Olusanya: New advocate for agriculture

Abisola Olusanya fielding questions from journalists in one of her tours.

Abisola Olusanya fielding questions from journalists in one of her tours.

By Jimoh Babatunde

Gender and age have often been a barrier to the advancement of ladies in many countries as they face a number of challenges that affect their ability to participate in political life and become political leaders.

But things are changing for good as Finland recently had a new left-wing government led by five female leaders, four of whom are younger than 35.

Nigeria might not have elected an under 40 as a state governor yet, but there are young Nigerian ladies, who are well educated and prepared to take up roles if the opportunities present themselves.

One of such ladies is Abisola Olusanya, the Special Adviser on Agriculture to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The young lady, who is now the acting Commissioner for Agriculture in the state after the coronation of the former Commissioner as traditional ruler of Iruland, has shown within the little time that she has the zeal and capacity to lead the ministry.

During a recent tour of some projects in the state, she showed that agriculture is not an office work as you need to be on the farm to interact with the farmers and stakeholders.

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She reminds one of the time of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the President of Africa Development Bank, AfDB, as Minister of Agriculture.

Adesina moves round the country visiting farms and interacting with farmers to gather information on what they need for necessary planning.

This is what Olusanya is doing and it shows that she is applying the skill in project management she learned while working with Olam International, one of the world’s largest Food  and Agri Supply chain companies.

Abisola Olusanya comes into the job with almost 10 years of professional experience in leadership roles in Sales & Marketing and Supply Chain management – executing strategies towards Food security, SME inclusion, growth and profitability within a sustainable ecosystem.

Her work leading sales, marketing and supply chain operations for one of the largest business segments in Olam (Ghana) has provided her with extensive industry and international exposure to trading which has enabled a broad global mindset as a result of working with stakeholders in Mozambique, Cameroun, Vietnam, Thailand, India, UAE, and Singapore.

She is a leader with participative management style and proficiency in establishing and managing entire operations with key focus on a sustainable organizational culture.

Ms. Olusanya attended St. Margaret Nursery & Primary school (Ikorodu) and obtained her First Leaving Certificate in 1994, and then proceeded to Queen’s College, Yaba- Lagos for her secondary education where she finished in 2000.

Armed with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Lagos (2006) and an MBA from the prestigious Lagos Business School (2011), Ms. Olusanya is well-tuned to global management practices.

During the inspections of Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) projects in Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe, she exhibited her agility, adaptability & effective performance within fast-changing and complex environment.

With the way she interacted with the technocrats in the ministry, community leaders, farmers and other stakeholders, Lagos State has a new advocate for agriculture.