AfDB to partner Ogun on special agro industrial processing zone

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has described Ogun State as a powerful ally in its development programmes and project implementation.

The Special Adviser to the President of the Bank on Industrialization, Professor Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, made the assertion in an interview at the weekend, after a meeting with Governor Dapo Abiodun at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

He said the visit was to discuss on One Agenda, Item 18, that focuses on the development of the Special Agro Industrial Processing Zone and to clarify the subsidiary loan agreement between the state and the Federal Government.

“Today, we have clarity on how best to develop the hub, including the Agricultural Transformation Centre, to ensure that the significant Zone arrangements see the light of the day,” the AFDB official said.

Also speaking, Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Bolu Owotomo said the state stands to gain from having many Agricultural Transformation Centres as they would feed the Special Agro Industrial Processing Zone with raw materials.

He said his ministry was currently distributing inputs to farmers as the farming season approaches to enable them to have bountiful harvest and improve their livelihood.

Owotomo also revealed that capacity building was being intensify by training Extension Officers to enlighten small holder farmers on how best to use the inputs given to them, calling on farmers to follow climate smart farming to plant for good harvest.

In a related development, the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) said it has taken steps to guarantee the safety of trucks conveying Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in the country.

This is in response to the explosion that occurred in Abeokuta last weekend.

The Director General of the Organization, Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwunoso Okeke disclosed this on Thursday after a meeting with Governor Abiodun at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

The Director General, who described the incident as unfortunate, said CNG remains a clean and cheapest fuel that is environmentally friendly and an alternative to other traditional petroleum products.

He said: “I am here in respect to the incident that occurred last Saturday. I am here to let the governor know that we now have safety standards that relate to the CNG operations, which President Bola Tinubu will launch on May 29 this year. As you all know, the President has directed that vehicles will now run on CNG, and CNG is the alternative to the traditional fuel, and it is environment friendly.

“I am also here to inform the governor that we now have two standards that have also been released and the standards will help us in ensuring that there is safety in the operations of CNG in the country.”

While sympathizing with the family who lost their loved one and those who lost their means of livelihood, Dr. Okeke said his agency would look into the immediate and remote cause of the accident with a view to proffering solution.

He noted that the federal government was committed to the use of the Compressed Natural Gas as an alternative to drive the country’s economy.

“It is a one off incident and we are going to look at what led to it and come up with measures to ensure that going forward, the CNG operations will be safe for all and ensure that the public is confidence on it use,” he said.

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