News

February 20, 2024

Ekiti: Oyebanji seeks US partnership on food security, cocoa devt

Ekiti: Oyebanji seeks US partnership on food security, cocoa devt

By Rotimi Ojomoyela, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji on Tuesday solicited the support and partnership of the United States of America in developing the critical economic sectors of the state to achieve his administration’s shared prosperity agenda.

Specifically, Ekiti State, according to Governor Oyebanji is desirous of the American government’s support for its Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security on cocoa development as well as a collaboration between the state’s knowledge Zone and US technology hub, the Silicon Valley.

Oyebanji, who disclosed these in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday during a meeting with a team from the American Embassy led by the Charge d’Affaires, David Green, said the state would explore the American expertise, resources, and investment as a progressive partner in the areas of economy, security, climate change, innovations, among others.

The Governor, at the meeting which was attended by the Consul General of the American Embassy, William Stevens; Chairman of CAVISTA Holdings, who is also the Chairman of Corporate Council on Africa, Mr John Olajide; and some top embassy officials, thanked the American Government for the support the state has received in its agriculture development drive, especially the Ikun Dairy Farm.

He explained that the collaboration is expected to strengthen the state’s economy, create jobs, and enhance the quality of life of her citizens.

Stressing that productivity remains the watchword in his administration’s economic drive, Governor Oyebanji said any state that desires growth must be productive. “If a state must prosper, that state must work on productivity and for productivity to happen there must be collaboration with the private sector.”, he added.

He highlighted areas of collaboration with the United States to include support in the Agriculture sector, Ekiti Knowledge Zone, Youth and women empowerment, art and culture, climate change, health care, renewable energy, and investment promotion, among others.

Oyebanji expressed confidence that the collaborations would also unlock opportunities for advancement within the state, and said his government is committed to driving economic prosperity and improving the standard of living of the citizens.

The Governor assured that his government would continue to provide an enabling environment for private sectors to turn the state into a production hub, thereby growing the economy of the state.

“The State thank you for your support and investment Ikun Dairy Farm. Ikun is a game changer, they have done so well, but they can do better, so we will be looking for support at feed formulation and artificial examination because that will solve the foreign exchange problem.” The Governor said.

Earlier in his remark, the Charge d’Affaires, David Green, expressed the readiness of the United States Government to work with Ekiti State government to achieve its economic growth, adding that the Embassy would identify potential areas of development where the US could lend a hand in enhancing the state’s economic performance.

The Ambassador assured the Governor that the United States government is keen on ways to foster fruitful collaboration with the state government especially in the fields of Agriculture, health, knowledge economy, among others.

He promised to further the discussion with relevant agencies of the state government.

Other top officials at the meeting include the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt Hon Adeoye Aribasoye; Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon Bolaji Olagbaju; the Secretary to the State Government, Dr (Mrs) Habibat Adubiaro; Head of Service, Engr Sunday Komolafe; Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Ebenezer Boluwade; Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Oyebanji Filani; Special Adviser on Governance, Hon Odunayo Ayeni and Director General, Ekiti Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA), Mrs Lolade Olutola.

The Embassy’s team included Foreign Agriculture Counselor, Chris Bielecki; Deputy Political and Economic Chief, Kenise Hill; Political Specialist, Mayowa Obilade; Foreign Agricultural Specialist, Tolani Abegunde among others.

The team proceeded on an inspection of the Agbeyewa farms and other agricultural investments in the state, shortly after the meeting.