Obong of Calabar to Grace Agribusiness Roundtable

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The Obong of Calabar (M) flanked by members of the Agribusiness Roundtable planning Committee

Obong of Calabar to Grace Agribusiness Roundtable

Priscilla Christopher

The Obong of Calabar, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu (V) has made known his intentions to be physically present at the Agribusiness Roundtable scheduled to at the Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resorts in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State from Monday 1st to Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021.

The Monarch made this known when the Agribusiness Roundtable planning committee paid him a courtesy visit at his country home in Adiabo Ikot Mbo-Otu, Odukpani, Cross River State on Thursday, October 21, 2021.

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Edidem Abasi Otu who was impressed at the recognition accorded him by the committee assured of his attendance and gave his royal blessings for the event.

L-R: South South Coordinator of NAADI, Mr. Howard Usen; Obong of Calabar and Chief Bassey Essien

Edidem Abasi Otu the Fifth who strongly commended the initiative to advance the course of agriculture however advised that it should not be started and jettisoned later, but nurtured to permanent reality.

“You would recall that in the olden days, our forefathers thrived on agriculture. That was where their finances came from, not from oil as it is today. I urge you to keep this vision strong and sustainable”, he charged.

Obong interacting with the guests

The Obong of Calabar who acknowledged invitations from King Jaja of Opobo and the Oku Ibom of Ibibio for the same event seized the opportunity to task the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to embrace the potentials of the Roundtable, noting that it would further the course of his food sufficiency bid in the State.

Earlier, the South South Coordinator of Nigeria Agribusiness and Agro Industry Development Initiative (NAADI), Mr. Howard Usen commended Obong Abasi Otu for opening the doors of his hometown to them.

Obong paying rapt attention to the South South Coordinator

While intimating the King of activities for the 3-day event, Mr. Usen stressed that the Roundtable was necessitated by the need to look beyond Oil exploration.

“The stone age didn’t die because of the lack of stones but because of a better viable discovery which was oil. But today, we have a much lucrative alternative which is agriculture hence, the need to invest in it”.

“The oil age is soon coming to an end. If we do not do something now, we might have nothing to leave behind for the coming generation”, he narrated.

Expatiating on plans to make agribusiness more viable, the Coordinator noted that what was missing in Nigeria’s Agribusiness is expertise.

“If we have a training centre and a Lab, we can get a lot of things done and start exporting proper”, he maintained.

He therefore announced the launch of the N5.5 Billion Agricultural Training and Innovation Centre at the Roundtable.

Buttressing the Coordinator’s submission, a member of the planning committee, Engr. John Okodi informed the King that a model of the Training centre would be presented at the Roundtable as an evidence of their preparedness to transform agribusiness in the State and beyond.

Among the courtesy visitors were Chief Solomon Essien, Mrs Caleb and other members of the planning committee.

The Agribusiness Roundtable themed “Unveiling New Opportunities, New Possibilities” will also feature the presentation of Awards to deserving individuals and organizations who have advanced the course of agriculture and Agribusiness in Nigeria, including Governor Udom Emmanuel, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, President of African Development Bank, Mr. Akinwunmmi Adesina; Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Development, Amb. Maryam Katagum and others.

The six (6) Governors of the South South States of Nigeria are expected to grace the event as guests, including Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and his Zamfara State counterpart, Governor Bello Matawalle