Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola yesterday said that the federal allocation to the state for the past six months has fallen by 40 per cent.
The development, he said, had almost made it impossible for the state to perform its statutory responsibilities. Governor Aregbesola made this known during a visit to him at the Government House in Osogbo by the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to turn a new leaf so as not to cripple the economy of the state. The governor said: “Fifty percent of our Six Integral Action Plans centred on agriculture and food security so as to banish hunger, poverty and unemployment.
We recognised agriculture as a means to survive as a state.
“Through our school feeding programme, pupils are eating 300,000 eggs, 400 tonnes of cat fish, 35 heads of cattle, 15, 000 chickens and we are committed to building the state capacity to produce the food items and be supplying other states so as to create wealth for our people.”
Aregbesola said in as much as Osun is willing to help the Institute on the compensation and administrative structure, the government is constrained financially at the moment.
In his own speech, Chairman, Governing Board of the Institute, Dr. Oluwole Aina, said NRCRI and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture are set to establish the first sub-station of the Institute for the South-West in Osun State.
Dr. Aina said the establishment of the sub-station would commence in the first quarter of this year, adding that the development would go a long way in assisting the government on agriculture programmes and strategy.
He indentified the benefits derivable from establishing the sub-station as direct youth employment, development of beneficial linkages between the state government agricultural programmes and the institute’s research work
Aina added that the Institute would be assisting in regular access to new varieties of root and tuber crops and increase agricultural production, economic growth and wealth creation.