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Don seeks diversification of economy from oil


The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, Professor Felix Salako, has charged government at all levels and the entire citizenry to embark on concrete measures that would truly pull away the country from the current level of over-dependence on oil resources and embrace agriculture, as a sustainable route to national development.

The Vice-Chancellor made this clarion call during the facilitation and communication skills training programme organised in the state capital Abeokuta by the Cassava, Adding Value for Africa II (CAVA II) Nigeria Project, for Agricultural Development Programmes’ (ADPs) extension officers and procurement staff of large-scale cassava producers.

Professor Salako, whose University, FUNAAB hosts CAVA II (Nigeria), observed that, “We are having new generation of extension officers. All of you sitting here are young, seeing your faces; I think we are meeting new generation of extension officers. And I hope you are really going to be the catalyst that would push the nation forward in terms of using agriculture as an alternative to crude oil export. It is dawning on everybody now – whether we like it or not – we are running into trouble with oil. What may even make oil to be useless is the fact that people are already thinking of alternative source of energy, even for running cars.”

The Vice-Chancellor noted that it was crucial to put together the training, aimed at enhancing facilitation and communication skills of participants in having better knowledge of life-changing management, saying that this approach of engaging both extension agents of the state ADPs and procurement executives of cassava-processing factories would definitely achieve the desired results.

The Country Manager of CAVA II (Nigeria) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development) Designate of FUNAAB, Professor Lateeef Sanni, recalled that the issue of inconsistency in the supply of raw materials was a major and critical point for the survival of large scale industries, noting that sourcing for raw materials of between 250 and 450 tones of cassava required quite a lot of work.

“We are aware that you have different locations where you source for raw material but at present, there are some issues we have itemised in the last two years – right quality, right quantity and right time of supply – which should be urgently addressed”, he stated.

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