Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
The United States (U.S) embassy in Nigeria will partner the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission and Odu’a Investments Ltd. to develop the Southwest’s economy.
Consular to the 17 states in southern part of Nigeria Claire Pierangelo yesterday indicated her country’s readiness to partner the organisations in supporting the region’s economic well-being.
Pierangelo, who noted that the region was vital for Nigeria’s economic success, said her country, in its drive for Nigeria’s development, visited DAWN Commission to understand how it works and see ways by which the embassy can partner it in driving economic development in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states. She identified agriculture as the key area the embassy will like to support hence, members of the embassy’s agriculture team were on her entourage.
She said: “We came here today to find out how the Southwest is organising itself, cooperating, and working on economic development so we can work with the states, through the DAWN Commission, in their areas of cooperation. This is part of the economic engine of Nigeria, and moving it forward will require cooperation among the states. The Dawn Commission, really, is an organisation that can help the states work together for the benefits of those states…”
DAWN’s Director-General Seye Oyeleye said the visit has helped the U.S team understand that DAWN and Odu’a make a one-stop shop for economic development efforts of the Southwest.
He said: “They have agreed to work towards supporting our drive on revamping agriculture in this region. They came with their agricultural team, and we have highlighted some of our challenges. We were also able to highlight some of the things that we had done in agriculture and where we need support…”
Oyeleye added that both organisations have agreed to set up a small working group to follow up on the partnership proposal.
Group Managing Director of Odu’a Investment Limited Adewale Raji said the conglomerate has an asset base of N140 billion, but its performance was still far from the given target, hence it seeks partnership with investors of choice to maximise opportunities in the region and Nigeria at large.
“We have an asset base of N140 billion but our performance is still far from the given target. Odu’a Investment is trying to look at partnership with investors which would be partnership of choice. We want to make sure that we get the zone to focus on specific areas of interest; one of these is agriculture,” Raji said.