Posted by News Express | 25 September 2012 | 3,336 times
Former UBA Group MD, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N., has struck a partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture in his native Nigeria designed to boost agricultural production in the country.
He is acting through his Afrocentric NGO, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). Commenting on the initiative after the placement of the first Tony Elumelu Fellow in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Elumelu said: “This programme is part of the Foundation’s efforts to create the best possible environment for the African private-sector led economic transformation of Nigeria and Africa. We see this as a homegrown solution, leveraging the best of Nigerian business talent and private-sector innovation to contribute to driving the right kind of capital in to Nigeria’s agriculture sector. We are starting with the Ministry of Agriculture to visibly show our support for the Honourable Minister of Agriculture’s ambitious transformation vision, a key pillar of the overall administration agenda.”
A TEF statement made available to News Express described the initiative as being in line with the Foundation’s intent to provide strategic support to key ministries, enabling a stronger and more strategic engagement with the private sector.
“The programme will begin with a focus on Nigeria, with plans to expand to other fast-growing African economies to create the enabling environment for inclusive, jobs-focused growth, led by a competitive African private sector,” the statement said.
“The first Fellow will serve as a Senior Investment Advisor with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The role will support the Ministry’s priority of a value-chain driven agriculture transformation strategy by serving as the point person for domestic and foreign investors with an interest in the Nigerian agriculture sector,” it added.
News Express learnt that Fellows in the programme will be seconded for an initial period of two years and will be obligated to sign strict conflict of interest agreements to ensure transparency. Each fellow is selected through a competitive and transparent global search to find candidates with the most appropriate skill sets, to ensure the needs of the ministries are met. The Fellows are also selected based on the high quality of their work experience, results-orientation, and ability to transfer knowledge and build the capacity of the ministries.
“The Fellow joins a cadre of other expert fellows already providing delivery support to other African governments through the Blair Elumelu Fellowship Programme already in place in Sierra Leone and Liberia. This programme offers an innovative model for philanthropic support to the African public sector, moving away from the traditional grant-making model and towards human capacity support that infuses a private-sector influenced execution ethos with the government’s broad transformation agenda,” the TEF said.
Welcoming the first Fellow into the Ministry, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, C.O.N., said: “Agriculture is not a development project but rather a business. We will grow this sector to become a major driver of our economy. We are working to create an enabling environment that will attract significant local and foreign direct investments into this sector. Nigeria’s agriculture is open for business, to add value to all we grow and generate jobs.”
*Photo, courtesy TEF, shows Elumelu CON with Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina CON.
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