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Obasanjo, Ajimobi inaugurate projects at IITA, aimed at accelerating agricultural research

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As IITA presents agricultural policy framework to Oyo state

 

Nigeria’s former President and IITA Goodwill Ambassador, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi today commissioned two key projects at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan— an Agricultural Transformation Building dedicated to research and delivery of innovations to farmers across Nigeria in particular and Africa in general, and a 10.5Km ring road in Africa’s biggest international agricultural research center.

The construction of the building commenced in 2017 with a foundation laying ceremony officiated by former Nigerian heads of government, General Yakubu Gowon, and Chief Obasanjo; and the African Development Bank President, Dr Akin Adesina as part of projects initiated to mark the 50th anniversary of IITA.

The building, which was funded by the African Development Bank through a Nigerian project— Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program (ATASP)— comprises 22 offices, 8 large laboratory spaces, a conference room, and a utility facility.

The 10.5Km road on the other hand covers part of the perimeter fence of the 1000-hectare campus of IITA. The road was constructed by Oyo State government as part of efforts to support agricultural research.

Senator Ajimobi said the support given to IITA was in realization of the importance of agriculture to Oyo State, and the contribution of IITA to agricultural development in the state.

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“Today Oyo state is the best place to invest and promote agriculture because we have IITA located in the state,” he said.

Dr Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General, said the rejuvenation of IITA facility in Nigeria was crucial for the institute’s sustained efforts to transform agriculture on the continent.

“We are excited to see a state in Nigeria showing the example by supporting infrastructure in an international agricultural research center. This is not common, and we commend the government and people of Oyo State,” he said.

Dr Sanginga also commended the government of Nigeria and the AfDB for their support towards the construction of the building, adding that it would accelerate the pace of research and accommodate the best/critical human and material resource needed to bring transformation to the agricultural sector.

The event also witnessed the presentation of the Oyo State Agricultural Transformation Policy Framework.

Concerned by the poor performance of agriculture, Governor Ajimobi last year requested IITA to produce a policy document that would provide direction to the transformation of agriculture in the state in the next 25 years. Based on this request, IITA worked with the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), the state ministry of agriculture, and Oyo State Agricultural Development Program to produce the framework.

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Dr Alfred Dixon, IITA Director for Development and Delivery said the framework situated Oyo State agriculture in context and examined the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to Oyo State key agriculture value chains.

“It also goes further to forecast the implication of policy intervening scenarios for government,” he added.

Dr Dixon said that Oyo state can capitalize on the Policy Framework to attract private capital in the agricultural space.

“It clearly defines what Oyo state needs to do to improve its agricultural productivity and achieve Zero Hunger,” he added.

He commended members of the Oyo state Government, NISER and IITA for their hard work in drawing up the policy document.

“May I also take this opportunity to thank His Excellency, Governor Ajimobi for giving us the opportunity to coordinate this effort,” he added.

In his remarks, Chief Obasanjo tasked Governor Ajimobi, IITA and NISER to work towards ensuring that recommendations in the Policy Framework were implemented by the incoming administration.

“Our problem is not policy formulation but implementation,” he said.

The IITA Goodwill Ambassador commended Governor Ajimobi for supporting IITA and called for the extension of innovations generated from research stations to farmers.

He noted that there was a gap between research institutions and the ordinary smallholder farmers…“And we need to close that gap to bring about agricultural transformation,” Chief Obasanjo concluded

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Oyepeju to unveil Ara Foundation in Ibadan

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Ibadan – born  industrialist, Alhaji Ademola Oyepeju is poised to officially launch the Ara Foundation,  a Non- Governmental Organization birthed to support the less – privileged.

The event, which is billed to hold December 5 at Scrolab Hotel, Oke – Ado in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital will also feature celebration of founder’s birthday, presentation of awards to some eminent personalities, scholarship for indigent students and empowerment program.

Dignitaries expected to grace the ocassion include : the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji Aje Ogunguniso 1, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives  Congress (APC) and Chief Bayo Adelabu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 election.

Others are: Chief Oyegade Oyepeju, Alhaji Amadu Zungeru, Sarkin Hausawa of Ibadan, Chief Sunday Adeyemo (Sunday Igboho), Sheik Muyideen Ajani Bello, Hon Muse Ariyo, Pastor Kayode Akinola, Alhaji Taofeek Babatunde, Prince Abass Aleshinloye, Alhaji Taofeeq , Tao Onibata, Professsor Abideen Olaiya and  Rev Mrs Olaiya, among others.

Oyepeju, in a statement signed  on Thursday, explained that the foundation was founded in 2018 and it is duly registered with the government.

The business magnate also added that since its establishment, the foundation has lifted many poor people to a better state through financial aid to petty traders, schorlarship for indigent students in tertiary institutions , donation of tools and equipment for artisans to boost their businesses among others .

He emphasized the need for all levels of government to embark on more programs to alleviate poverty, unemployment and insecurity especially among youths.

According to him, “the focus of the foundation is beyond humanitarian services but a ploy to enhance growth and advancement of the society through  extension of helping hands to the needy and  idle hands who may later became devil’s instrument.

“The increasing number of people with no clear cut jobs is alarming and dangerous for the society and to prevent total collapse the needy should be supported and engage “, Oyepeju noted.

The industrialist, however  advised youths to shun violence and channel their energy and talents towards national development.

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Oyo: Buhari begins training, empowerment program for 400 youths in mechanized farming

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Senator AbdulFatai Buhari representing Oyo North Senatorial District  will on Thursday,  3rd December, 2020, in conjunction with the National Directorate Of Employment (NDE), engage no fewer than  four hundred (400) selected youths from across the thirteen (13) local governments of  the senatorial district in Mechanized Farming.

The three (3) day  intensive training on modern techniques of farming will come up simultaneously at three different locations, Kisi, Town Hall in Kisi, Irepo local government, Ipman Hall in Saki at Saki West Local government and Ipapo Town Hall in Ipapo at Itesiwaju local government in Oyo North.

Apart from the daily transport allowances and feeding for the beneficiaries, the trainees will at the end of the  training programme, be empowered with seedlings, herbicides, equipment, training allowances and certificate

Oyo North is an agrarian district which if well harnessed will serve as food basket for the state and Nigeria as a whole as well as increase the revenue base of the state and nation through import of agricultural products like, sorghum,millet, cashew, cassava,yam amongst others.

The knowledge acquired by the beneficiaries at the end of the training, is expected to be used to increase their harvests which will in turn improve their living standard.

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This brings to total, one thousand two hundred (1200) constituents selected from Oyo North Senatorial District that have been engaged in one training or the other by Senator AbdulFatai Buhari, in the last one month.

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Untold story of sex for passport saga at Nigeria Embassy in Germany

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The recent news which gone viral with a video clip alleging that a Nigerian Embassy staff in Berlin,  Germany, one Mr Martins, was  engaged in sex for passport / visa  racketeering and fraud  has been found to be  maliciously subjective  and a deliberate attempt to cast aspersion, dent the image of the Embassy and intimidate the staff into accepting unethical practices  as the norm.

According to a fact-checking news organization based in Paris , – Bureau The Truth described  the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin as one of the very few  best Embassies in the world where the staff strictly adhere and comply with the oath of service and the official charter of duties without compromising or bending the rules.

Bureau The Truth disclosed that the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin has consistently for many years proved to be impregnable for passport /visa racketeers shunned malpractices and diligently mobilized its staff into servicing the needs and attention of Nigerians in Germany and carried out its diplomatic function.

The fact-checking news organization revealed that this seemingly hardliner modus operandi of the Embassy and its staff has been a cog in the wheel of operation of a clique of Nigerians from a particular ethnic group which specializes in Nigeria passport racketeering, child trafficking and immigration sharp practices.

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According to Bureau the Truth, Nigeria Embassy in Germany has been able to wade off immigration rats and cockroaches mainly because of its internal security mechanism which Mr Martins has dutifully guarded and coordinated.

Bureau The Truth revealed that Mr Martins is a man of integrity at his duty post and has never been found wanting in his course of duty and he has never been alleged or being suspected of any official malaise .

The fact-checking organization disclosed further that Mr Martins seemed to be a thorn in the flesh of intruders into the Embassy as his no-nonsense posture at work has made him an enemy of fraudsters who find it hard to penetrate the Embassy.

Bureau The Truth investigation disclosed that, the alleged Mr Martins is not in any official capacity of influence  to issue a passport / visa or interfere in the process of passport /visa-issuing adding that it found out from its investigation that the video on viral was a deliberate setup.

Bureau The Truth pointed out that there is nothing in the video which indicate any discussion relating to visa or any diplomatic business.

“A  thorough analysis of the video has nothing to show or any discussion about passport /visa or diplomatic business but a deliberate incursion into another man’s privacy by a set of people whose intention is evil and who were forcing their voices on their victim ‘

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Bureau The Truth opined that the video has a touch of ethnic affiliation as the voices were a mix of English and an ethnic language belonging to Nigeria.

It also pointed out that the said video had only Mr Martins who was being bombarded with a flurry of comments without allowing him to have a say and without showing his alleged partner.

Bureau The Truth also observed that one of the invaders of Mr Martins’ privacy was heard telling him why he always refused to take whatever instruction issued to him by another colleague in the office .

Bureau The Truth called on the Nigerian Ambassador in Germany to ensure a thorough investigation of the case with clinical and precise format devoid of media siege and blackmailing tendencies pointing out that the profile, integrity, precedent and business activities of those in the video should be thoroughly perused, audited and noted.

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