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Why We Shifted Focus To Cassava Production Instead Of Botswana Maize Project—Makinde

Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State declared on Saturday that his government’s plan to take the state from poverty to prosperity is on course.

The governor, who was speaking during a special two and a half hours live programme aired by the network service of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), “The Governor Explains,” said that efforts and programmes of the government to develop the state are on course and progressing steadily.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, also quoted the governor as indicating that his administration is taking deliberate measures to reduce the trust deficit between government and the people.

Governor Makinde further explained that his promise during his inauguration that the state would export maize to Botswana did not materialise due to some technicalities involved in the project, stating, however, that the administration has shifted its focus to cassava production, where, according to him, the state has comparative advantage.

“What we said about the Botswana project is that we will have maize here and we can sell to them. Also, we can do backward integration where we look at our maize and use that to produce ethanol. However, as I said regarding the Botswana maize project issue the last time I came here, the maize we are producing here, we found out from the IITA that there are issues with the level of aflatoxin in it and its acceptability in the international community.

“Also, we needed to look at the alternative that must exist and that was why we moved towards cassava as something that is central. But some people will always like to say that we said something and we did not do it.

“After we came in, we looked at the areas where we have comparative advantages and we found out that a lot of people are already into cassava production and Oyo State is almost like the highest producer in the country right now. So, that is an area where we have seen a lot of results.”

The governor also took the opportunity of the broadcast to admonish residents of the state on the security challenges, saying security is everyone’s responsibility, even as he urged residents not to allow themselves to be used against the government, which they installed.

He said: “There are people that think what can make them govern the state is to create chaos every now and then but I have news for them; for you to want to govern Oyo State, there must first of all be a state for you to govern. If you destroy our state, what are you coming to govern?

“So, we will do everything possible to let the people know that this is our state. The government will come and go but the state will remain and we have to be mindful of that and do everything possible not to destroy the state for ourselves and the next generation,” he concluded.

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