Friday, January 29, 2021 9:27 pm
Adejoke Adeleye/ Abeokuta
Ogun State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a French Company, FAN MILK PLC, for the production of dairy foods in the State.
The agreement was signed in Governor Dapo Abiodun’s office and witnessed by the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jerome Pasquier.
Abiodun, said agriculture remains a critical pillar of his administration and the government would stop at nothing to actualize the dream of turning the State to the Nation’s food basket.
“Agriculture is one of our key sectors. We have the land, the people and traditional farmers. Today, we have done so much to become number one in cassava, eggs, and poultry in the country. We are also the largest producer of rice in the South West, besides being a major kolanuts, cocoa and cotton producer. Our fish production has become a model in the continent.
“We see ourselves becoming the food basket of this nation and this tallies nicely with President Buhari’s ‘grow what you eat and eat what you grow agenda’ and we have keyed into this”, he noted.
Governor Abiodun stated that the State has embarked on various initiatives aimed at reducing unemployment rate in the State by keying into the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrower’s and the FADAMA GUYS programmes, maintaining that more than 30, 000 people have so far benefited from the programmes.
While pledging his government support to the private sector, the Governor added, “We see this as an opportunity not just to further increase our contributions to food security, but particularly to allow us to reduce the level of unemployment. We realised that agriculture is the easiest and cheapest way to reduce unemployment”.
He acknowledged the contribution of FAN MILK in its more than five decades of existence in the country, expressing the hope that the signing of the MoU would help the State in its human capacity building as well as in job creation.
“This is how we want you to see this partnership. It has to go beyond what FAN MILK could get out of this. How much capacity building are we going to see with this, how many jobs are we going to create with this because we all know that as we reduce unemployment, we will see a positive benefit in the reduction in the rate of crime”, the Governor explained.
Ambassador Pasquier noted that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the state government and the company will help in reducing food importation and increase food security, adding that the company would diversify its production by using locally made products.
Chairman, FAN MILK PLC, Mr. Olayinka Akinkugbe in his presentation, noted that the company was in the State to tap its agricultural potentials for the development of the state and country and also to contribute to employment drive.