Ogun partners World Bank on easy access to agricultural lands
by Yusuf Adeleke
As part of the efforts to attract more investments and improve the ease of doing business in Ogun, the state government has entered into a partnership with the World Bank on Framework for Responsible and Inclusive Land-Intensive Agricultural Investment, tagged (FRILIA).
The partnership covers an economic transformation project of Ogun State on agriculture and agribusiness, and it is expected to remove bureaucratic obstacles that hinder easy access to lands for agricultural and industrial investments. This way, the state hopes to attract more investments and boost industrialization.
The partnership, BusinessDay gathered, is a follow-up to the Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System (OLARMS), which was established by the government to resolve pending issues of land acquisition, allocation and titles documentation, and the entire process of land application and acquisition, and ensuring that they are digitised for easy access.
Speaking at the launch of the FRILIA in Abeokuta, on Tuesday, Governor Dapo Abiodun said that FRILIA comprises two components which are a results-based financing platform that improves the environment for business and a platform that fosters private sector participation in the agri-food and skill sector.
Abiodun, who was represented by Jamiu Odetoyinbo, the commissioner for rural development, said the economic value of rural residents was agriculture. He said without food there won’t be life, hence attention is paid to all investments, policies and activities of government and private sectors that can guarantee food security and improve on the people’s standards of living.
He, however, noted that the project would bridge the gap between the rural and urban people by curbing rural-urban migration and increase value of agricultural produce through constant investment in agriculture and agribusiness components from crops plantation, processing and storage in order to make positive impacts on agriculture sectors.
Oladapo Akinlade, the executive director, Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA), described the project as a good initiative, adding that it would fast- track agricultural development, as many players and investors would come to the state for reasonable investments in agriculture and agribusiness.
Akinlade, however, condemned unchecked and indiscriminate sales and allocations of agricultural lands by the state agencies and real estate investors for housing projects, saying if any efforts on the food production and security must be realistic; the government must allocate and commit fresh hectares of land for agricultural purposes.
Earlier, Oluseyi Olugbire, the director of Ogun State Economic Transformation Project (OGSTEP), stated that the economic project was to ensure that investment occurs transparently and is consistent, and contribute to policy objectives such as poverty reduction, food security and job creation.
Dotun Sorunke, the permanent secretary, ministry of agriculture, expressed the optimism that FRILIA would achieve greater agricultural development. He said Ogun was the second state in Nigeria to implement FRILIA after Kaduna.