The first-ever agro Technology Exhibition and Conference tagged Agritech Nigeria Osun 2019 was held from 26-28 March in Osogbo, Osun State. COMRADE YAHAYA MAJEED, the Executive Director of Fesco Agalu Nigeria Limited, the organisers of the event told P.M. EXPRESS in this interview how Agritech Nigeria event was organised, the challenges and gains the event is bringing to the people of Osun State.
Congratulations sir for the successful organisation of Agritech Nigeria Osun 2019 international exhibition agriculture technology.
Thank you so much
Nigerians have described the Agritech Nigeria Osun 2019 as one of the most attended event by members of international community in Nigeria considering the numbers of Ambassadors, High Commissioners of different countries, delegations of international institutions such as UN for Women, federal government agencies, corporate organisations, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), National Council for Women Societies and others that came for the three days event, how did you make this happened?
First of all, let me again thank all the members of foreign missions and the good people of Osun State who trooped out in their thousands to attend the three days Agritech Nigeria Exhibition and Conference. There is nothing more patriotic than this. I must confess, we are more encourage to do more with good feedbacks of the fallouts of the event that have been coming from different quarters after we finished the event.
Sir what are those feedback and fallout you just mentioned?
Yes, during the event over N1.5 billion trade and investments exchange hands. For example, a foreign company that came for the event from abroad bought millions of bitter kola from Osun farmers who are in to the business in the state. It was a great day for them. Not that alone, some international companies who came to the event have decided to establish their multi billion naira companies that will be making use of these valuable agricultural products that used to be wasted as their raw materials in Osun State this year. So Agritech Nigeria is not only about exhibition and conference, but it is 80 percent investment drive to Nigeria and the testimony we are seen in Osun State is a living proof.
Osun state can be described as a landlocked state, and for your organisation to have hosted this agric. trade fair in Osun must have cost you a lot, how did you do that, did your organisation receive assistance from the state government?
No single assistance from the state government assistance as I am talking to you. It was a big financial burden to bring such an event to Osun State because to organise an event like this, you need airport and other logistics. Do you know how much it used to cost a state government to host an Ambassador not to talk of many of them staying in Osun for three days. But with the help of God, we were able to shoulder this burden. What matter to us is the success and benefits of this programme to Nigerians and the people of Osun State. We are happy to hear of the multiplier effects and the good news after the event from Osun state people. Our logistics is simple. We perfected all arrangement. We positioned good transportation to convey our guests from Lagos and Ibadan airports with tight security to bring them down to Osogbo in Osun. I was surprised that for these three days, these foreign diplomats stood by us. Let me use this opportunity to thank all the Ambassadors and representatives of foreign organisations who attended the Agritech Nigeria Osun 2019 in Osogbo. We are so much grateful to you all. We are so much delighted with series of letters of commendations from these Embassies and High Commissions congratulating us for putting up a good event.
Some people were saying that the absence of government of Osun State was political taking into consideration where you come from, do you ever thought of that before bringing it to Osun?
I am from Nigeria and Osun state, point of correction, it is not only me that made up of Agritech Nigeria event, Ibo, Hausa, Muslim and Christians are in the Team. Agritech Nigeria was organised by Fesco Agalu Nigeria Limited, not a political party or a son of a particular town in Osun State, so such insinuation must not arise at all.
Sir, it is a known fact that you are the Head of the Management Team and you from Ede, the home town of Senator Ademola Adeleke, a political rival of the present Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, is it not correct to say that Osun State Government decided not to give necessary support to such huge successfully organised international event because of this?
You are not correct at all, first you must know that I am very close to most of these appointees of both past and present government, but if some people in the government chose to encourage government to stay away, I think it is Osun State people that will ask them questions in the shortest possible time. I am proud of where I come from. Although I don’t know the source of your information, but if that is true it is a disservice to the people of the state, I doubt it.
You must have been looking forward to the next edition now, are you ready to do it in another state?
Yes, we are ready to embark on our patriotic journey to other state and we are going to do that. Our aim in this Agritech Nigeria project is to draw investments to any state we go. We use the platform of Agritech Nigeria International Exhibition and Conference on Agricultural Technology to encourage foreign countries to bring their technologies closer to millions of Nigerians who need them without stress of travelling to those countries. We are doing this to increase productivity and sustainability of farmers, processing and marketing of their agro commodities
When are we are expecting next event?
Agritech Nigeria Osun 2020 will take place in February, but as a result of invitation we got from other state, it might come up in the state we may settle for later this year. Discussion on this is ongoing.
What are the challenges you face in organising Agritech Nigeria Osun 2019?
We faced a lot of challenges, but because of our patriotic zeal to go ahead, today it is a good story to tell. What I can advise my country men and women particularly the people in government is to be more patriotic to the people they governed, while the followers should stop complaining, but do something. That is the only way to keep Nigeria moving and working again.