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Agric: World Bank, Ogun Partner to Attract Investments to State

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The World Bank and the Ogun state government have partnered towards simplifying land management in a bid to attract agricultural investments to the Gateway state.

The collaboration is targeted at the implementation of the Ogun State Economic Transformation Project (OGSTEP), in line with the Framework for Responsible and Inclusive Land Intensive Agriculture (FRILIA) of the bank.

Participants

To achieve this objective, key stakeholders, representing the state government, investors, host communities, farmer groups, Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), FRILIA Technical Working Group (TWG) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), had converged on MITROS Residences, Ibara, Abeokuta, for a two-day Capacity Building training.

Team Leader of the International Development Consultancy on Sustainability (IDCS) Limited, Mr. Kehinde Johnson, who led a team of seasoned specialists, unbundled the FRILIA toolkits and templates to participants.

He noted that Ogun state is the second state in Nigeria, after Kaduna state, to adopt FRILIA, adding that the government has already identified Crops, Livestock, Aquaculture and Horticulture as the priority areas for attracting large-scale investments into agriculture, taking advantage of its proximity to the mega city of Lagos.

“FRILIA is all about ensuring that there are regulations, policies, and memorandum of understanding to protect investment in the agricultural sector, so that when an investor comes in and he knows that there is a framework for him to operate, it becomes easier.

Participants during the training

“The FRILIA principles are intended to establish the foundation for the procedures, processes and organizational arrangements to govern large-scale agribusiness investments in Ogun State based on internationally agreed upon principles and guidelines. 

“When an investor is coming, these stakeholders are able to engage and ask relevant questions, like what are your plans for community development, what are your plans for resettlement where it is required, what are your plans for compensation, all these toolkits address these areas including environmental sustainability safeguards for the community,” Johnson added.

Among the eight toolkits presented by Johnson are Stakeholder Engagement, Environmental and Social Risk Management, Out-growers and Food Security, Land Access and Easement, and Involuntary Resettlement Management.

Johnson, addressing participants

Others are Community Needs Assessment and Development, Valuation and Compensation, Grievance Redress Mechanism and Global Memorandum of Understanding.

Permanent Secretary of the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, Samuel Adeogun, said the initiative was to help in achieving a seamless implementation of FRILIA.

On his part, the Project Coordinator of the State Economic Transformation Project, Mosun Owo-Odusi, who was represented by the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Dr Abiodun Adeeko, said that the capacity-building initiative is targeted at involving all stakeholders in the agricultural investment process.

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