Ondo State governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, has received a blueprint from the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) on how to reposition and stimulate economic growth, employment generation and an enduring food security through the state Agricultural Policy.
Apart from this, PIND also presented blueprint on how to turn around the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC), to enhance effective delivery of its mandate.
Speaking while presenting the recommendations to governor Akeredolu, the PIND Executive Director, Dr. Dara Akala, said the Ondo State Agricultural Policy was done in collaboration with other development partners and the Ondo State Ministry of Agriculture.
Akala explained that the agricultural policy is the outcome of an intensive process that involved extensive consultations of multi-stakeholders.
He said the consultation involved Farmer Groups; relevant MDAs; Development Partners; Associations of Smallholder Women Farmers; Commodity Associations; People Living with Disabilities (PWDs); Youth; Processors; Financial Institutions; NGOs; Academia, to mention a few.
According to him, the Policy acknowledges that the economy of Ondo State is largely agrarian with the majority of the population engaging in farming, and thereby focuses on ensuring that the agricultural sector grows by strengthening the inclusion and participation of different actors in the entire value chain of the agricultural process.
He said the strategies is targeted at encouraging economic growth, employment generation, and enduring food security in the state and commended the governor for his total commitment to the overall change and development of the state.
Speaking on how to turn around the OSOPADEC to enhance effective delivery of its mandate, Akala explained that the Organizational Review and Assessment of the OSOPADEC was carried out following the state government request for PIND to assess the Commission and recommend what will enhance the Commission’s effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of its mandate.
He said the assessment employed complementary strategies that involved engagements through interviews and plenary sessions with various stakeholders from the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies- MDAs (including management and staff of the Commission) and representatives of the oil producing communities.
From the assessment, some of the critical findings were in the areas of Corporate Governance, Organizational Development and Change Management, Program and Project Management, and Public Financial Management and Procurement.
Akala said “We are here to present the governor two key documents which are output of our work in the state. Part of it is providing technical support to OSOPADEC, in 2018, the governor requested us to carry out diagnostic review and accessory of the agencies with a view to come up with recommendations on how to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency in the delivery of its mandate.
“The second reasons we are here is to present the state agricultural policy that will provide support for the state in development”
Akala however expressed optimism that the recommendations would be put into use to achieve the desired result and transform the Commission and state for the betterment of all.
He disclosed that the Foundation has designed and implemented diverse projects and activities centered on reducing poverty through income generation, skills development, and job creation, as well as reducing conflict by building a network of peace actors within the region.
“Since 2015, PIND Foundation has worked in the areas of Economic Development, Peace Budiling, and Analysis and Advocacy within Ondo state in collaboration with the state government and other stakeholders to facilitate access to improved seedlings for Oil Palm farmers, improved technical and business practices of Cassava farmers as well as facilitating an active network of peace actors intervening in conflict prevention and resolution situations within their communities across the State.
“PIND Foundation has also driven several advocacy discussions with relevant stakeholders and provided policy development support to Ondo State.
Receiving the blueprint, Akeredolu commended the Executive Director of PIND for a job well-done.
He promised to look into the recommendations made to reposition OSOPADEC to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission in the delivery of its mandate.