…as Oyo, Netherlands enter new partnership

By Adeola Badru

Oyo State Government has said that it’s efforts towards the state economic development has yielded impressive results with about N27billion direct private sector investment recorded within just three years of the Seyi Makinde led administration.

This was as the state government also said that it is partnering with the government of Netherlands through agribusiness for economic development and to ensure food security in the state.

The Director-General, Oyo Agribusiness Development Agency, OYSADA, Dr. Debo Akande, disclosed this yesterday, at the Oyo State-Dutch Collaboration for Economic Development meeting, held in Ibadan.

The event which is a move by both governments of Netherlands and Oyo s
State is geared towards economic diplomacy and networking among industry captains and critical economic players in Ibadan.

According to Dr Akande, the partnership between the Netherlands and the state government was to ensure that resources coming into the economic development of Nigeria were accorded priority attention as a result of the abundant availability of human and material resources in the state.

“There is no government that can do it alone, we need partners and one of the critical areas of agribusiness is to ensure that we drive the private sector as much as we can at small, medium and large scale levels,” he said.

Akande added that the state would soon commence fixing of 1500 feeder roads through Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project, RAAMP, a world bank project to enhance smooth transportation of farm produce.

“For this state, from 2019 till now, we have been able to drive N27 billion direct private sector investment in agribusiness and have over N40 billion worth of international development funds into agribusiness.”

“It is this kind of partnership meeting that brings these things to fruition,” Akande said.

Speaking on youths involvement in the state government agricultural programme by creating employment through agricultural value chain, Dr Akande explained that thousands of youths in the state have already been trained and are being re-trained for different phases of the agricultural programme.

He noted that other partners of the state government are being involved in the process of youths engagement in the state Agribusiness programme assuring that youths who have been selected for the first phase will soon be contacted once necessary documentations and understandings are reached.

Also speaking, the Consulate-General of Netherlands in Nigeria, Mr Michel Deleen, said the meeting was to bring to Oyo State solutions from the Netherlands to link up businesses in Oyo State and the Netherlands to build a better Nigeria.

“There are lots of Dutch companies in Oyo State; we are trying to consolidate on that to see how the Dutch Government and Oyo State Government can support and push further on economic development in Oyo State.”

Mr Deleen, who said that collaboration on agriculture between Oyo State and Netherland, had been yielding results, added that there was the need to do more in horticulture programme and other areas to increase tomatoes and cassava production in the state and Nigeria at large.

He commended the state government on its success so far in the area of infrastructural development and urged government to continue to build on the already recorded achievements such as good roads to complement and ensure that yields of agricultural produce are increased through modern agricultural practices.

“It is a matter of training and capacity building. Use of the right seeds, the right soil type and fertilisers are the technical things that would help Nigeria and in this case, farmers in Oyo State,” Deleen said.

In his remark, the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Trade, Investment and Cooperatives, Dr Bunmi Babalola said if the opportunity being created by the new partnership was well utilized, it will create abundant food production as well as promote exportation from the excess production, which had been the desire of market leaders in the state.

Commenting, one of the participants, Mr Kola Adeniji, a commercial and mechanized farmer, who is the Managing Director of NIJI Group, urged the three tiers of government to ensure that good policies were in place and implemented to make agribusiness viable in Nigeria.

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