Chief Executive Officer (CEO), African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) Nigeria, Gloria Akobundu, says the AU agency is backing the food systems priorities of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
Akobundu said this on the sidelines of High Level Meeting on “Attracting investments in Land Restoration, Food Systems, and Rural Transformation in Africa” organised by AUDA-NEPAD on margins of the 78th session of UN General Assembly in New York.
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by AUDA-NEPAD Nigeria Secretariat in collaboration with its continental counterpart (AUDA-NEPAD) Contiental.
“President Tinubu has set his target and his goals and we are so grateful that food systems and education are priorities to his goals and his great vision for Nigeria and Africa.
“For us in Africa Union Development Agency, our mandate centres on driving the vision of the heads of state and government, ensuring its implementation and reporting back.
“So, we’re so grateful to him as our leader and our president. We’re grateful for his passion, for his commitment and dedication in realising a peaceful and vibrant economy in Nigeria, of which there will be an overflow to other African countries.
“So, coming here today on Global Financing for food systems, is very welcoming to development for the country and it’s in line with Tinubu’s vision on realising food security, and also in line with African Union agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she said.
Akobundu, also the National Coordinator of AUDA-NEPAD Nigeria, said the agency was grateful for the commitment and support of the Nigerian government.
“Education and food become priorities and the bedrock for development and there’s no doubt if achieved will curb insecurity, create jobs, ensure exports, grow our GDP and add a lot to the economy of our country.
“So, it’s a welcome development, and you can see we have development partners. We have been working with them, they’re very much interested. They’re very happy with the Nigerian government,” she said.
According to her, the partners are happy with the set goals, the policies as President Tinubu promised to remove every bottleneck to ensure that these priorities succeed.
“We are collaborating with the Continental Secretariat to mobilise development partners, to market, educate and inform the global community on the priority of the Nigerian government and Africa at large.
“Also, to woo investors and ensure that in every sector of the economy, investors come into partnership with Nigeria, following the vision of our leader, President Bola Tinubu,” said Akobundu.
Earlier in her speech, she informed the participants of the smallholder farmers’ project in Nigeria, targeted at building the capacity of local farmers in order to increase their contribution to the nation’s food production and improved nutrition.
“The project was initiated by AUDA-NEPAD as a response to the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“More than 20,000 smallholder farmers spread across 22 states of Nigeria have been enrolled into the scheme and have been grouped into cooperatives in order to facilitate assess to financing,” she said.
According to her, the project is in line with Zero hunger Policy of AU Agenda 2063: “The Africa We Want” and also Goal 2 of the UN SDGs.
“It aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, and ensure that all people–especially children–have sufficient and nutritious food all year.
“The smallholder farmers’ project also serves as a vehicle for the restoration of one million hectares of degraded land in Nigeria,” she said. (NAN)