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U.S. seeks partnership with South West on agriculture

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The United States (U.S.) Consular to 17 states in southern part of Nigeria, Claire Pierangelo, yesterday disclosed America’s readiness to partner with the six South-West states through the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission and its sister outfit, the Odu’a Investment Company.

The Consular spoke during a visit to the DAWN Commission and Odu’a Investment Company in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Pierangelo, who described the zone as a vital part of the economic engine of Nigeria, said: “We come here today to find out how the South-West is organising itself, how it is co-operating and how it is working on economic development so that we can work with the states through the DAWN Commission in their areas of co-operation.

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“This, really, is a part of the economic engine of Nigeria and the way to move it forward is through co-operation among the states. The Dawn Commission, really, is an organisation that can help the states work together for the benefits of all those states.

“We look forward to knowing what they are doing and how to collaborate with them. That is what I am taking away; looking at how we can co-operate and collaborate with the states in the South-West.”

The Director-General, DAWN Commission, Seye Oyeleye, who spoke with newsmen on the sideline of the meeting, said: “One of the things is that they have agreed to put more efforts into supporting our drive on revamping agriculture in this region. They came with their agricultural team, and we have been able to highlight some of the challenges we are facing.

“We were also able to highlight some of the things that we had done in agriculture and where we need support. They saw DAWN Commission, in conjunction with Odua Investment Company, as more like a one-stop shop where they can get a clearer picture and how they can approach agriculture funding from the region.

“Their visit today has opened their eyes to the fact that there is a body here that has the capacity to bring six states together under one umbrella and then we get faster result. That is a major take-away for her and she was also reassured. She asked questions about security and we were able to assure her that it was set up purely as a regional policing effort which they understand in America because it is a federal system.”

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