-IDGRDG honours Ayangbure, Ranodu, Odusanya, Elepe High School, others with merit awards
Wale JAGUN & Tunji ANANI
Nigerians have been urged to actively embrace agriculture for economic growth, poverty reduction, food security, reduction of vulnerability and for other socio- economic goals.
This clarion call was made at this year’s Professor Anthony Afolabi Adegbola Memorial lecture tagged, “Livestock Productivity and Human Development”, and delivered by Prof. Emmanuel Babafunso Sonaiya, the former Dean of Faculty of Agriculture Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and a professor of Animal Science which held recently, at the Ikorodu Town Hall.
The lecture, which was the 17th in the series, was well attended by scores of scholars, policy makers and eminent persons and others who were all impressed by the guest lecturer’s performance and collectively agreed at the end of the event that there is still more work to be done regarding the development of agriculture in the country.
The memorial lecture has been a veritable platform where eminent scholars, policy makers, professionals and others assembled to discuss various critical issues facing the social and economic development of the country in the last 16 years.
It was also being used to raise funds for the proposed Anthony Afolabi Adegbola Science Centre sited within the premises of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu Main Campus.
In his lecture, Prof. Sonaiya spoke extensively on the importance of Agriculture in growing Nigeria’s economy.
He stated that, “The development of the livestock sector contributes to economic growth, poverty reduction, food security, reduced vulnerability and other socio-economic goals”.
“With livestock development, there is a decline in the rate of of under-nutrition and the proportions and sections of the population not consuming animal-source foods; while there is an increase in daily per capita intake of meat and milk. This indicators highlights the nutritional benefits available from increasing the availability of affordable livestock products”, he stated.
Prof Sonaiya also viewed the development of livestock as a major pathway out of poverty for the ‘poorest-of-the-poor’, amongst both urban and rural populations and amongst vulnerable stakeholders such as women.
He commended the National Animal Breeding Policy of the federal government which according to him, was designed to guide selection and improvement of indigenous breeds.
While speaking on importance of pastures, Prof Sonaiya proposed a partnership between Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group (IDRDG) and the management of the proposed Prof. Adegbola Science Centre in the area of making Ikorodu the centre of grass production and trade.
To end his lecture, the guest lecturers stated that, “Investment in livestock productivity is an investment in human development. For sustainable livestock development, all livestock producers must be educated enough to understand and apply emerging technologies and innovations to livestock production and more educated people should engaged and invest in livestock production”.
Chief Audu Innocent Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Chairman of the occasion and who was represented by Mrs Olusanya, encouraged all to invest in agriculture for sustainable development
He stated that the government is working to improve the Agricultural sector of the economy.
In his own speech, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, equally advised participants, especially students, to go into agricultural activities which he described as a profitable venture.
The former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly lightened up the occasion when he sang a popular Yoruba song on agriculture to drive home his point. “Ise agbe niise ile wa, eni ko sise a maa jale. Iwe kiko lai si oko ati ada ko i pe o.” (Agriculture is part of the Yoruba culture. Lazy people will not have anything to eat and would resort to stealing. Education without agricultural engagement is incomplete).
The lecture also featured conferrement of merit awards on Oba Kabiru Shotobi, Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, Ranodu of Imota, Mr Tunji Odusanya,mni, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Prof. Imevbore A.M.A, Prof. Skiru Adebayo Sanni and Hon. (Justice) Fatai Afolabi Adeyinka.
Posthumous merit awards were also conferred on Late Prof. Anthonio Q.B.O and Late Alhaji (Chief) Musediq Alogba.
Elepe Community Senior Secondary School, Mrs Adelegan M.S and Oduneye Feyinfoluwa Flourish were also awarded for Excellent WASSCE performance in three years (2014, 2015 and 2016), Best Principal, Junior School Category in Lagos State and Best Student in Ikorodu Division in 2017 WASSCE respectively.
Others at the occasion were Sen. Seye Ogunlewe, former Minister of Works, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforoji, former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly and Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, former Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Lagos State, among others.