The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has called on Ondo State Government for more collaboration to enhance the agricultural sector in the state.
Mr Tony Otuonye, FMARD State Coordinator, made the call during a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Olayato Aribo, on Wednesday in Akure.
Otuonye explained that he was in the ministry to brief the commissioner about the FMARD projects in the state.
He said there would be a lot of gains for the state government if they maintained their the cordial relationship.
The FMARD state coordinator said that communities, states and local governments, settlements, associations among others, had benefitted from the ministry in the state.
According to him, the state government should be ready to play its own roles because it was such collaborations that would enable them to get the Federal Government attention.
Otuonye also frowned at the high rate of vandalisation of Federal Government’s projects in the state.
He appealed to state government and communities for more adequate protection of projects, for their benefits.
“Out of three solar boreholes at Ondo town, one has been vandalised completely and is no more useful for the community.
“Also at Akure town, one of the pumps of a solar borehole installed has been removed; it costed N650,000 as at then and now sold at more than N1million.
“At Ile-Oluji, in Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of the state where a giant werehouse was built, it has also been vandalised.
“Also at the same Ile-Oluji, a mini water treatment plant which costs FG over N200 million, was not managed well and vandalised.
“I can assure you, if the place is managed well, it will empower many people in the community, especially if it’s in use and it will generate a lot of revenue for both the local and state governments.
“It now behoves the state and local governments, communities and others to protect our projects for them to get more FG interventions,” he said.
Responding, Mr Olayato Aribo, State Commissioner for Agriculture, who appreciated the FMARD and state coordinator for the projects executed across the state, called for more support and intervention from the Federal Government.
Aribo, while speaking on projects vandalisation in the state, promised the state government’s readiness to protect all the FMARD projects.
“We are ready to partner more with the Federal Government to eradicate poverty in our society through agriculture; our people will be very happy to feel the impact of the Federal Government in the state.
“Though, I can say that Ondo State did not benefit much from the Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, compared with the other states in the country, because ours is just five per cent.
“So, on vandalisation, the state government will do the needful. I am imploring our community leaders, Obas and chiefs to monitor and protect the Federal Government’s projects for the benefit of their communities,” he said.(NAN)