It was a celebration galore as a staff of Ondo State FADAMA III carted away awards for performance.
Receiving the award on behalf of the state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture and Agric Business Pastor Akin Olotu described the laurels as excellent.
According to him, payment of the state counterpart fund by the Governor, dedication to duty by workers and the wonderful performance of the farmers’ culminated to the award being celebrated.
“This is a big plus to Ondo State and it is worth celebrating. For one state out of 36 states to cart home five awards when some states did not even win one, shows our capacity in Ondo State.
“It also shows the type of human resources we have and the kind of dedication to duty by the people involved.
“Our farmers too did very well, because if the farmers did not do well, they can not win any award and I know more will come.
Olotu who urged the people to support the governor in his effort at creating a new Ondo State that will not be running to Abuja for allocation.
He said there was the urgency to develop the state economy and create wealth.
Olotu said the governor was already laying a solid foundation though not seen now, adding that by the time the administration is through with projects like the deep sea port and Ethanol project at Okeluse, the State could have become an eldorado.
He charged everybody to be ready to work hard, resolute and do everything in a geometric way, adding that the world will not wait for anyone and failure to do what should be done will amount to jeopardising the future of the next generation.
Speaking on behalf of the Project Coordinator, Mr Olusoji Olatunji, the Environmental Officer of the Project, Mr Bunmi Falodun attributed the award to hardwork and dedication of the staff.
He appreciated the State Governor for prompt release of counterpart fund and asked for more assistance saying the performance of the project will project the image of the government.
In a goodwill message, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Segun Odusanya described the event as a glorious one that came through discipline.
While congratulating the award recipients on the feat, he appreciated them for managing the resources of the State very well, for impacting the farmers and for making the state proud.
Also in his goodwill message, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Bunmi Alade said it was not easy to win award, but an attribute of dedication, integrity and diligence.
He called on all and sundry to borrow a leaf from their dedication, do things differently so as to be celebrated.
Responding on behalf of the award recipients, the State Project Coordinator, Mr Olusiji Olatunji appreciated the state government for providing an enabling environment.
“From inception, Ondo State government has distinguished itself, it built a complex for the project, making it the only state in the country to have a complex.
“We took off with four Hilux vans, the state added one to it, it has consistently and religiously paid its counterparts fund and paid up to date, the attitude and interest of the government affected the disbursement to the state, we got reasonable fund for farmers.
“And I want to say that the project has impacted the lives of Ondo people, disbursement from 50 percent has increased to 75 per cent. We started cassava with 18 tonnes per hectare and now we are on the average of 24 tonnes per hectare, while rice has risen from 1.5 tonnes per hectare to 4.05 tonnes per hectare, so we have been able to impact the lives of the farmers.”
Olatunji, who dedicated the award to God said “it is not because we are more hardworking than others, because as a staff of the project you must be hardworking but it was by the mercy of God, we got five awards, it means we did not betray the trust reposed in us”.
Olatunji received an award of excellence for outstanding performance in project management and community services in 2017, while Mrs jumoke Bakare received an award of excellence for outstanding performance as the state Technical Training Assistant officer of FADAMA lll project.
Miss Yemi Shaba, won two awards: award of excellence for outstanding performance as the best facilitator in Ondo State during FADAMA lll Additional financing project implementation in Nigeria 2017 and award of excellence for outstanding performance as the overall best community facilitator during the implementation of FADAMA lll Additional financing in Nigeria.
Mr Ezekiel Ibitoye won the award of excellence for outstanding performance as the 2017 best smart in south west zone.
Other speakers at the event attributed the achievements to diligence and integrity.