Obasanjo urges DR Congo to invest in agriculture to help Africa cut $50billion food import bill - Mega Icon Magazine
Connect with us

News

Obasanjo urges DR Congo to invest in agriculture to help Africa cut $50billion food import bill

Published

on

Chief Obasanjo

Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has called on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to invest in agriculture and particularly cassava, soybean, cowpea and plantain to help Africa cut down annual food imports that is estimated at $50billion.

Obasanjo spoke on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, during the official inauguration of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Kalambo research station in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the country’s President, Felix Tshisekedi. The research station is named “The President Olusegun Obasanjo Research Station”, in honor of the ex-President who is also the IITA Goodwill Ambassador.

Giving a shoplist of crops the gover“The first crop to take is cassava… The second crop is soybean because it is very important for human nutrition and livestock. The next is cowpea and lastly plantain. If we invest in these crops, we will be able to reduce the $50bn that Africa is spending annually on importing food,” Chief Obasanjo said.

The former president underlined the importance of research to agricultural transformation, citing the Nigerian example where his administration was able to raise cassava production by 20 million tons during his eight year-tenure.

He commended Dr Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General for his leadership, and the institute (IITA) for its excellent research in addressing the problems facing Africa.

ALSO READ  New Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of the Congo

The IITA ambassador congratulated President Tshisekedi for providing the enabling environment and support to IITA to establish the centre, stating that he felt deeply honored to be part of it.

At the inauguration were Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB); Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde; and the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, among others.

Dr Sanginga  said the research station was in dedication to IITA and its partners’ mission of fighting hunger and poverty in Africa and would contribute towards boosting agricultural productivity in DR Congo and the region.

“The station is a symbol of our dedication and commitment to building the research and development capacity in DR Congo and the Great Lakes,” he said.

He reiterated the importance of research to agricultural transformation and cited the progress made by Nigeria in cassava to the role of research innovations developed by IITA and its partners.

The IITA Director for the Central African Region, Dr Bernard Vanlauwe added that the lab building was built in record time using modern methods and materials.

“Indeed, the first stone was placed in October 2017 and the building completed in 18 months. This speed and efficiency symbolize the nature of the activities taking place in the lab, namely the rapid and large-scale production of healthy planting materials of crops of key importance to the DRC as well as the production of bio-fertilizers to ensure the growth and quality of these crops,” he explained.

ALSO READ  Serena marks Mother’s Day with baby daughter

For many years, the station in Kalambo operated in project mode but in 2011, the IITA Board of Trustees decided to elevate it to become the focal point of the Institute’s regional hub for natural resource management in the Great Lakes. It now also features a first-class tissue culture lab for the vegetative multiplication of cassava, banana, coffee, yam, and potato.

Comments

News

Just In: Oyo govt. to revoke four road contracts – Commissioner hints

Published

on

By

No fewer than  four contractors that have been allegedly failed  to meet up with performance specifications and time lag in Oyo State will soon have their contracts terminated.

The State Commissioner for Public Works and Infrastructure, Prof. Rapheal Afonja  on Monday hinted at his office in Ibadan.

Governor Seyi Makinde has recently said the administration was compiling list of non-performing contractors in the State as he lamented the agony being experienced by the people living in the affected areas where road construction works were ongoing.

According to  Afonja , “we have got complaints across the State about pace and quality of work done by these contractors, His Excellency the governor also inspects the pace of work during the day and even in the night, I can tell you now that soon, termination notice will soon be given to four non-performing contractors.

“Complaints have come across the State and when we came on board, we had to do a contract review and we realized that the quality of work done by some of these contractors were low, we also realized that most of the agreements have also relapsed and none of them had performance bond in their files, the performance bond is a way to tell a contractor that if you don’t do a good job, you will be penalized.

ALSO READ  Ibadan Mesiogo Movement throws irreversible weight behind Tegbe’s candidature

“So we gave them time, which is the past five months which was to see if they could impress the government, we gave them our standard, our requirements, some of them have not lived up to it while some have, so with the approval of the governor, the next step is to issue termination notice to some of them.”

Among the contracts inherited by the present administration and are still ongoing as at time of this report is the dualization of Idi-Ape-Basorun-Akobo-Odogbo Barracks road in Ibadan and dualization of saki township along Oke-Ogun Poly-Ilesha-Ibariba road in Saki.

Others are Eleyele Junction-Akufo-Ido-Eruwa road, reconstruction of Moniya-Iseyin road and Agodi-Gate-Old Ife Road, Adegbayi in Ibadan.

Meanwhile the State government has said that the introduction of a new Park Management system in the State was aimed to plug holes in the income of of the State and not for political reasons.

The Commissioner for Public Works and Infrastructure, Prof Raphael Afonja said this while answering questions from journalists who were at his office after the inauguration of Park Managers for public motor parks in the State on Monday.

The Commissioner asserted that the people of Oyo State were happy that leaks in the State’s income were plugged while individuals appointed would work with trusted consultancy firm to generate income for the State, using technology to monitor activities and accountability of all players while all funds generated would go into the State coffers.

ALSO READ  JUST IN: Makinde seeks collaboration with Oyo Assembly to tackle corruption

Continue Reading

News

Oyo govt. promises to prosecute illegal motor park operators

Published

on

Oyo State Government has promised to prosecute any individual found culpable of running parallel and illegal parks in the State, saying it would also impound any vehicle found within premises of such illegal parks. This is sequel to the directive of the Oyo State Government on the creation of New Park Management System.

This was contained in a statement issued today by the Chairman, Mogaji Akin Fagbemi at the Authority’s Administrative Headquarters in Ibadan.

“Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA) hereby strongly warns individuals or groups planning to run parallel and illegal parks in the State. Anyone found culpable would be prosecuted and made to face the full wrath of the law”, the statement read.

In his words, Dr. Fagbemi said, “our attention has been drawn to comments made by certain individuals threatening to run some self-created and illegal parks parallel to the ones approved by government and into which Park Managers has been duly appointed. According to section 2 subsection 5A of the Oyo State Road Traffic Management Act 2009, OYRTMA is the State Government agency statutorily backed by law to oversee, coordinate and manage all government approved parks within the State.

Hence, in line with the directive of the State Government, we use this medium to make stern warnings to anyone nursing the ambition of utilizing illegal parks or creating parks unapproved by the State Government. We are set to go all out in conjunction with all other security agencies to arrest and prosecute offenders while all vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles found at such illegal park would be impounded.

ALSO READ  Makinde blasts Oyo govt over demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s radio station

However, we implore all commercial vehicle operators across the State to corporate fully with the new Park Managers in a bid to ensure free flow of human and vehicular traffic in the State. We equally enjoin the good people of Oyo State to go about their legitimate businesses as there is no cause for alarm.

Continue Reading

News

VIDEO: ‘Auxiliary’ vows to increase Oyo’s IGR

Published

on

The newly inaugurated Chairman, Oyo State Park Managers Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Mukaila Lamidi popularly known as Auxiliary on Monday gave the commitment of increasing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) so that the Seyi Makinde led government would be able to cater for other infrastructural development in the state.

 

The Park Management System initiative is expected to generate revenues from motor parks, garages and quarries.

The ex-NURTW boss, ‘Auxiliary’ who gave this assurance in a video obtained by Mega Icon Magazine, also disclosed that he deliberately sacrificed his ambition to support the government’s mission towards boosting  the state’s revenue.

ALSO READ  “Father of Cassava”, Dixon proffers strategies on how researchers can disseminate agricultural innovations at scale
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Tweets by ‎@megaiconmagg

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required

MegaIcon Magazine Facebook Page

MEGAICON TV

Trending

%d bloggers like this: