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Ondo workers get 2017 Leave Bonus

By Chris Chimezie & Kehinde Oluwatayo
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) yesterday brought smiles to the faces of workers in the state as he announced the payment of their 2017 leave bonus this week.

Governor Akeredolu gave the assurance at an event to commemorate the 2018 World Food Day held at the Federal College of Agriculture, (FECA), in Akure yesterday.

Akeredolu noted that the Leave Bonus would be paid directly into workers’ accounts as against the usual method where Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) collect cheques and pay their staffers.

The Governor, who hinted that the present administration had offset four out of the seven months arrears owed them by the last administration, maintained that he remains committed towards ensuring that their welfare is adequately catered for.

Clearing the air on the Paris Club Refund, he stated that the money is still with the Central Bank of Nigeria and challenged labour leaders and workers that are in doubt to name the bank where the money was deposited.

Arakunrin Akeredolu had earlier called for more dedication and commitment to agricultural development with a view to realizing the nation’s dream of self sufficiency in food production.

Themed “Our actions are our future – A zero hunger World by 2030 is possible”, he explained that the call became necessary due to the current food situation in the state and the country at large.

He maintained that food sufficiency and a zero-hunger world would be achievable, only when everyone embraces Agriculture.

Akeredolu further said despite Ondo State being widely acknowledged as an agrarian state, it was still not self-sufficient in food production.

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According to him, in realization of the above, the present administration in the state had taken giant strides towards the development of the agricultural sector, so as to improve the nutrition status of its citizenry.

Some of the steps, according to him included; Procurement and distribution of 1,000 metric tons of fertilizer to various farm service centres in the state.

He added that the present administration had also raised and distributed 500,000 Cocoa and 250,000 Cashew seedlings to farmers to boost Cocoa and Cashew production in the state among others.

“Let me assure you that this government will continue to remain focused, responsive and accountable to the good people of our Sunshine State.

“We shall continue to create an enabling environment that would ensure that every individual will contribute his or her quota to the rapid development of the state’s agricultural sector”, he stated.

Earlier, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Agric and Agribusiness, Pastor Akin Olotu commended Governor Akeredolu for his numerous efforts aimed at ensuring food sufficiency in the state.

To this effect, Olotu mentioned some of the present administration’s giant strides in the sector as; collaboration with the Federal Government on National Egg Production Scheme with 64,000 layers in which thirty-two of the state farmers are currently participating.

He added that in collaboration with the Federal Government, the State participated in the “Home Grown School Feeding Programe”, to improve the nutrition status of school pupils and prevent manultrition among the vulnerable groups.

Olotu also said that the State Government has established a modern agricultural Village at Jugbere with the phase establishment of 2,000 hectares of Cocoa farm to be plotted on 4-hectares basis for youth empowerment and to boost Cocoa production in the state.

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Also, Guest Speaker, Prof Agbede Oluwasola from the Department of Animal Production & Health, Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure, noted that Nigeria has the potentials that can be exploited to mitigate food shortage and feed her citizens on nutritious foods even before year 2030.

He stated that the ban on importation of grains and animal products as well as zero corruption policy of the Federal Government would stimulate production, while excess products during glut, would be converted to value products and exported to neighbouring countries.

“Also, to achieve a zero-hunger economy, there is a compelling need for the government to provide an enabling environment that would facilitate the interest of heavy investors and organised private sector in agricultural production chains.

“Increase in production will help to abate food and nutritional insecurity and would drastically lead to reduction in the people exposed to Kwashiorkor, starvation, hidden hunger and infant mortality and morbidity”, he said.

Highpoints of the event include the presentation of a N15 million cheque to various farmers’ groups in support of their agri-businesses by the Governor, inspection of exhibition stands by farmers and conferment of Life Patron of Ondo State Agricultural Commodity Association (OSACA) as well as ‘Baba Cocoa’ title on the Governor.

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