By Eric Elezuo Photos: Ken Ehimen
The Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has unveiled the first Agricultural Quality Excellence Awards scheduled to hold in Kano State on November 20, 2018.
The unveiling was held at the NACCIMA Lagos office, GRA, Ikeja, where the President of NACCIMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, addressed the pressmen in the presence of stakeholders for the maiden awards ceremony.
In her address, Iyalode Lawson informed the gathering that the essence of the gathering was to sensitise the general public, and more importantly, those in the agriculture sector and ‘its vast value-chain about the forthcoming awards.
She noted that agriculture, being the highest employer of labour in the country, has contributed immensely to the nation’s economy, while frowning at the way the discovery of crude oil seems to have taken over merchandise. She maintained that with the introduction of the awards, agriculture is taking back its pride of place as the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
“More attention is now being paid to the agriculture sector by government and private sectors because it has been identified as as the most important sector in the quest to diversify the nation’s economy,” Iyalode Lawson said.
Mrs Lawson also highlighted that the all important event has received the endorsement of his Excellency, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Innocent Ogbe as well as the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, who will be the hosting the ceremony. Other important stakeholders and partners, according to the President, include the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), The Bank of Agriculture (BoA), The Bank of Industry (BoI), Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), PricewatersCoopers (PwC), Nigeria Breweries, FADAMA, NAFDAC among many others.
In his response, the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Umar Tanko Mijinyawa, reiterated the government’s commitment to hosting a superlative event, saying that as the state is already known for commerce, it is imperative that it remains in the forefront of bringing about whatever that will enhance the development of the people.
Mijinyawa noted that Agriculture is one of the cardinal agenda of the Kano government, which necessitated the Deputy Governor to also function as the Commissioner for Agriculture.
Lending credence to the forthcoming event, the Project Coordinator, who is also the Technical Adviser, Quality Control and Standardization, in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Heather Akanni, said the Honorable Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbe, is passionate about quality, and that explains the ministry’s endorsement of the awards. Her position was corroborated by the representative of the Agric Minister, Mrs. Olayinka Akeredolu.
Explaining further, Lawson disclosed that participation is opened to all farmers including those at the grassroots. She said that the application process involves online advertisement where participants can either nominate themselves or others. This will followed by screening by a team of highly experienced panel of judges, who will also oversee the award process.
The event, billed to take place at the Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano, on November 20, 2018, is expected to have all the trappings of transparency and classic organisation.
Among dignitaries present were representatives of all the stakeholders and partners of the awards.