Ekiti Governor Charges Traditional Rulers to Support Agribusiness Initiative

Ekiti State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has charged traditional rulers in the state to continue to support and cooperate with the activities of genuine private investors and government initiatives in the state to fast-track economic development across their communities.

The charges were dropped while addressing some traditional rulers from the state at the 1-day retreat organized by Cavista Holdings Limited at Ikogosi Warm Springs and Conference Center.

Oyebanji, who was represented at the colorful event by his Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Home Affairs, Honourable Olaiya Atibioke, underscored traditional rulers’ significance as the beacons of hope and development, particularly in fostering socio-economic growth, peace and catalysing prosperity notably in agribusiness across the state.

He urged the traditional rulers to use their exalted positions as community development agents to regularly communicate government policies and programmes to their people, mobilizing support for genuine investors, and act as mediators where required to ensure peaceful co-existence between businesses and communities.

He commended the Cavista Holdings for its commitment towards the advancement of using its subsidiary Holdings, Agbeyewa Farms, to launch an ambitious cassava revolution initiative, aimed at generating employment for over 10,000 Ekiti people.

In his address to the traditional rulers, Chairman of Cavista Holdings, Niyi John Olajide, emphasized the transformative potential of agricultural investment, affirming the company’s enduring dedication to creating job opportunities in the state.

“Our mission is simple, and it is based on three agenda, to create jobs, jobs and more jobs. Our reason for that is to transform lives and creates values for our people”, he said.

Speaking further, Olajide attributed his passion for economic development of Ekiti State just as he has done through his investments in other places across the world.

“To my own understanding, charity begins at home. Our fundamental role and capacity in driving a successful agribusiness in Ekiti State underscores our desire to transform Ekiti state through Agbeyewa Farms. We have shown that capacity in rebuilding the once moribund Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort into the best hospitality resort in Nigeria and one of the best in Africa today. We are here for the long haul. We are not going anywhere”, he said.

Olajide said that Ekiti had the potential to be a hub for cassava production in Nigeria, ensuring economic empowerment and food security, saying through the cassava value chain, Ekiti would become the home of the cassava revolution in Nigeria, providing millions of tonnes of cassava to feed millions of people, and empowering farmers in the state.

The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Professor Abayomi Fasina, in his keynote address, elaborated on the vast agribusiness opportunities available to communities in Ekiti, emphasizing the role of traditional rulers in poverty alleviation and job creation.

In a resounding endorsement, traditional rulers pledged their support for the Agbeyewa’s initiative, acknowledging Cavista Holdings’ contributions to the state’s development.

Speaking on their behalf, the Chairman of the Ekiti State traditional rulers, Oba Ayorinde Faboro (Olojudo of Ido-Ekiti), hailed the event as a historic gathering of traditional rulers and pledged their unified backing for the plan’s implementation.

“On behalf of the Obas that attended the conference, I appreciate the CAVISTA’s Chairman, Mr. Niyi John Olajide, his father and the management of CAVISTA Holdings for hosting us at Ikogosi to such a sumptuous and comfortable gathering. It was the first of its kind. All the prayers we offered for you shall be accepted by the Almighty God…”

The 1-day retreat witnessed the presence of dignitaries, including the Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Stephen Aribasoye; Majority Leader, Tolulope Ige; Hon. Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Ebenezer Boluwade; Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utility, Prof Mobolaji Aluko; Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Peju Babafemi; Surveyor-General of Ekiti State, John Faleto; Director-General of Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency, Mrs. Lolade Olutola, and members of Ekiti E-11, led by Chief Kola Akosile, and a host of other eminent personalities, signalling broad-based support for the agribusiness initiative in Ekiti State with the good support of the state government.