IITA facilities impress Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Dr Mohammed Bello Umar, Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, paid a courtesy visit to IITA Ibadan with some top officials on 12 July. Although, his presence in Ibadan was purposely for an engagement at the University of Ibadan, he decided to visit to get first-hand experience of IITA after hearing a lot about the Institute.
However, going on a tour, he was impressed by the facilities of IITA, especially the artificial lake, recreational centers and staff residence. “IITA is an integrated settlement with everything required for human habitation,” he said. He also referred to the farming areas, including research demonstration farms, and advised that IITA maintain the structure that is in place as it is a good agricultural learning center for those outside the Institute.
“We want more of IITA farms and settlements to be replicated in all the states of Nigeria and the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.” Dr Umar noted this while pointing out that the Federal Government is not merely in partnership with IITA but a board member of the Institute. As a result, a number of IITA centers are been set up in various parts of the country.
Furthermore, he started that being a part of the government has made him part of IITA but noted that this visit is his first physical visit to the institute. “I had passed by the gate of the IITA for well over 30 years without entering, being a former resident of Ibadan,” he said. He therefore saw his coming to Ibadan as an opportunity to visit the Institute, and “my encounter beat my imagination”, he added.
Dr Umar noted that coming to IITA is like coming home, being the Permanent Secretary of agriculture which is IITA’s main business.