The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has concluded plans to name its station in Democratic Republic of Congo after Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
The Director-General of the institute, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, disclosed this last Saturday during the commissiong of the Senator Abiola Ajimobi Ring Road at the IITA headquarters in Ibadan. Ajimobi and Obasanjo were present at the event which also saw the commissioning of the Agricultural Transformation Building at the institute and the presentation of the Oyo State Government Agriculture Policy Framework.
Sanginga explained that Obasanjo was being honoured for his role as IITA Goodwill Ambassador which has helped in deepening agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa.
IITA has research and administrative hubs and stations in 13 African countries – Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, DR Congo, Cameroon, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
In Dr Congo, its Central Africa regional hub is in Kinshasa while the station to be named after Obasanjo is in Bakavu.
Obasanjo, as IITA Goodwill Ambassador, spearheads the IITA-based Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum which is an initiative of the Nigerian Government in partnership with the World Food Program (WFP) and African Development Bank (AFDB). The aim of the forum is to draw a roadmap and implement initiatives to end hunger in Nigeria by 2030 in support of Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2)—one of the global goals that seeks to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”.
The programme kicked off in 2017 in five states—Benue, Ebonyi, Ogun, Sokoto, and Borno. In 2019, it aims to cover eight more states and then all 36 States in the federation including the Federal Capital Territory by 2021.