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BATN Foundation, BoA partner to boost agriculture

By Gbenga Akinfenwa
14 July 2019   |   4:07 am
The British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) Foundation has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to implement its agricultural...

The British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) Foundation has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to implement its agricultural programmes across the country.

The synergy is part of the Wealth is Here campaign, a joint initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria and British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation.

Executive Director of BATN Foundation, Abimbola Okoya said the MoU signing underscores the commitment of both organisations to work together in attaining a joint mandate to promote sustainable development in Nigeria.

“I am excited about this partnership and the initiative because it has the youth at its core target.”

Young people are the heartbeat of Nigeria, the future powerhouse of agriculture because they are everywhere. Hence, they should not be ignored because they are the thread in this fabric of society,” she said.

Okoya added that the future of the nation “is threatened by issues of food insecurity to unemployment,” noting that “as the largest employer of labour, agriculture is the fastest way to build an army of prosperous individuals.”

Speaking further, Okoya said that the Wealth is Health campaign is one of the 200 socio-economic development initiatives worth over N1.5b that have been implemented since BATNF was established in 2002.

She also expressed BATNF’s commitment to support sustainable agricultural development through its 2022 country programme funded with N700m.

The Executive Director, BOA, Mr. Olabode Abikoye, described BATN Foundation as a huge partner, while expressing willingness to support the initiative.

“We are honoured to be a part of this initiative. We are humbled that you deemed us a worthy partner to take this step with you. BATN Foundation is a huge partner for any corporate engagement. I am happy that BATN Foundation is identifying what the critical need is and is stepping into the gap to feel that need. I am also impressed that the Wealth is Health concept has a lot of thought-out initiatives.

“What BATN has done is to give hope to our teeming youths and convince them that they can prosper in Nigeria and don’t need to leave the country for greener pastures. We identify with that as a development finance institution that has a rural economy as our primary focus. We appreciate the gesture BAT has made,” he remarked.

Earlier in a welcome address, the General Manager, BATN Foundation, Lolade Johnson-Agiri, said that the Wealth is Here campaign is intended to redeem Nigeria’s glorious past, which was built on the pillar of thriving agriculture.

She noted that the Foundation would take advantage of BOA’s technical strength to fully develop and promote the initiative.

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