By Olawale Jokotoye
Abeokuta, Jan. 30, 2021 The Ogun Government on Thursday 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 by the state givernor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and the Chairman of FAN MILK PLC, Mr.Olayinka Akinkugbe at the governor’s office in Abeokuta.
Abiodun, at the programme, acknowledged the contributions of FAN MILK in its more than five decades of existence in the country.
He said that the development would afford the state an opportunity to enhance food security and reduce the level of unemployment in the state.
“This is how we want you to see this partnership.
“It has to go beyond what FAN MILK could get out of this.
” It should involve how much capacity building we are going to get from this and how many jobs we are 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,” Abiodun said.
The governor appreciated the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Jerome Pasquier, for promoting business opportunities between France and Nigeria, particularly Ogun.
He noted that the production of raw materials for dairy products would not only create jobs, but would also conserve the nation’s foreign exchange.
Abiodun reiterated the commitment of the Ogun government to agricuture, adding that it remained a critical pillar of his administration.
He explained that he had the vision of turning Ogun into the nation’s food basket and that he would stop at nothing in actualising the dream.
“Agriculture is one of our key sectors.
“We have the land, the people and traditional farmers.
” We have done so much to become number one in cassava, eggs, and poultry farming in the country.
“We are also the largest producer of rice in the South-West region besides being a major producer kolanuts, cocoa and cotton.
“Our fish farming and production have also become a model in the African continent.
“We see ourselves becoming the food basket of this nation because we have keyed into the ‘grow what you eat and eat what you grow’ agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration,” he said.
The governor recalled that the state had embarked on various initiatives aimed at reducing unemployment rate and had also keyed into the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrower’s and the FADAMA GUYS programmes.
He said that more than 30, 000 people had so far benefited from the programmes.
In his remarks, Pasquier expressed optimism that the development would help to reduce the level of food importation into Nigeria and also help develop the production of local cows in the state.
The ambassador, who commended the state for its strides in the agriculture and education sectors, expressed joy over the partnership.
Earlier in his remarks, Akinkugbe commended the state government for the conducive environment and the available infrastructure necessary for investment.
He said that the company was in the state to key into its agricultural potential and to partner the state in developing its economy through agriculture.