The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has affirmed that his administration will continue to find ways of ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship with the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), in order to lift the people out of poverty.
Prince Dapo Abiodun who made this known when he received the President of the Africa Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina in his office at Oke-Mosan, expressed appreciation to AfDB for choosing the State as one of the special agro- processing zones, pointing out that the zone would be fully operational with an airport location, as his administration was committed to boosting the agriculture sector.
“We have an airport location that was meant to be an agriculture airport and we think there is no better location for this special agro processing zone; so we have the airport, we have the special agro processing zone, that can now be an avenue for cross-fertilization of different companies, processing different agro-allied products. Be rest assured that we will do everything that is required of us to make a success of our agriculture sector”, he said.
He noted that the State has an advantage to be the food basket of the nation, with a land mass of about 16,000 square kilometers, out of which 12,000 square kilometers were arable, disclosing that government had explored an alternative road construction method, as a pilot process in three Local Government Areas of the State.
“We have begun to explore the alternative road construction method; we started with three local government areas of the State. All we need to do is grade the roads, camper them, have drainages and put this chemical on them; it won’t cost us that much and we can do it on time, am glad to say that we are going to begin that process this January”, he said.
While assuring that the Bank would support the State Government in achieving its objectives in the agriculture sector, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, said one of the five priorities of the Bank was to feed Africa, pointing out that feeding the continent requires making agriculture a business that would create employment opportunities, as well as revive rural economic activities.
“I assure the Governor of my full support to create special Agro Industrial Processing Zone that will allow processing of all range of agricultural produce. We are also looking at forest products as well, it is going to be very important, the commitment is there from my side and also from the governor’s side”, he said.
Adesina noted that the zones would attract food and agriculture businesses into rural areas, which had basic infrastructures like water, power, among others, adding that this would enhance the value of the produce from the rural areas.
“So what the Special Agro Processing Zone will do is to attract food and agriculture businesses into rural areas that have already been enabled with basic infrastructure like water, power, roads, so they can process and add value to every single thing that is produced in the rural areas, obviously, that will expand the physical space in the rural areas, create jobs and reduce rural-urban drift”, he noted.