Soy Excellence Center Seeks Collaborative Efforts for Food Security

Dike Onwuamaeze

The Soy Excellence Center (SEC) of the United States of America recently paid a courtesy visit to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)–CGIAR, Ibadan, to explore possible areas of partnership expansion that would contribute to food security in Nigeria and Africa.  

The discussion between IITA and SEC was centered on capacity building and potential areas for further research collaboration.

The Director General of IITA, Dr. Simeon Ehui, highlighted the institute’s vibrant research history that has consistently contributed to Africa’s agricultural and food systems in his discussion with the SEC.

Ehui, who is also the CIGAR Regional Director for Continental Africa, said: “We need to consistently be on our toes to evolve and work with national programs to avoid duplication and overlapping activities. We need to partner and work together to ensure the goal of delivering technologies derived from our research.”  

He expressed IITA-CGIAR’s openness to expanding partnerships and welcoming interested parties committed to achieving food security.

Ehui explained that IITA’s pivotal role in addressing food insecurity in Nigeria and across Africa has made it possible to build partnerships that have advanced its cause over five decades.

According to him, IITA-CGIAR has leveraged its proximity to the University of Ibadan, to strategically foster collaborations with academic institutions and other partners while aiming for a food-secure continent.

He emphasised the importance of IITA’s alliance with other CGIAR centers and their unified agricultural research and development efforts.

The Leader of SEC’s team, Mr. Michael David, spoke about the partnership between both organisations under the IITA Business Incubation Platform (IITA-BIP).

David said that the partnership is a significant milestone, which led to IITA becoming a host partner for the SEC in the soybean program, which has been instrumental in advancing soybean research and development.

Role of Agriculture in Nigeria’s Development Cannot be Overemphasised

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, has declared that the role of agriculture cannot be overemphasized in Nigeria’s quest for a prosperous country. 

Kyari made this claim in his speech to mark the country’s celebration of “June 12” as Nigeria’s democracy day.

He said: “We come together to celebrate Democracy Day, a day that symbolises the enduring spirit of our nation and the resilience of our people.

“It is a day to honor the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom, and a time to reflect on the progress we have made as a democratic nation.

As we commemorate this significant day, let us remember that democracy is not just about the right to vote, but also about ensuring that every citizen has a voice and an opportunity to thrive.

“In our quest for a prosperous Nigeria, the role of agriculture cannot be overstated. Our nation’s strength lies in the hands of our hardworking farmers, who toil day and night to feed our people and drive our economy.”

The minister said that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration remained committed to transforming the ountry’s agricultural sector.

“We are dedicated to implementing initiatives that will enhance food security, create jobs, and improve the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians.

“Our recent five-year roadmap signed with Belarus, to supply 2000 tractors yearly, assorted agricultural implements, and establish service centers and assembly plants, is a testament to our commitment to modernising agriculture and ensuring sustainable growth.

“On this Democracy Day, let us renew our pledge to work together for a better Nigeria. Let us embrace the values of unity, equity, and justice, and strive to build a nation where every citizen can achieve their full potential.

He added that the spirit of democracy would continue to guide Niger toward a future of peace, prosperity, and progress.

Coronation Asset Achieves Record-breaking Subscription for Series 1 of Infrastructure Fund

Coronation Asset Management Limited has announced the successful closure of the Series 1 Offer of the Coronation Infrastructure Fund (CIF), raising an impressive N8.79 billion. The company in a statement said the remarkable achievement represents the highest subscription level ever recorded in the market for a debut infrastructure fund, with a subscription rate of 43.95%.

 “This issuance marks a significant milestone as it achieved the highest subscription percentage in the market for a debut infrastructure fund, surpassing the previous rates of 33.75% and 24.70% recorded by the similar organizations. Additionally, it represents the largest amount raised in the market for a maiden infrastructure fund.

“We are immensely proud of the success of our Series 1 offer. This achievement underscores the confidence investors have in our ability to deliver substantial and sustainable infrastructure projects across Nigeria. The high subscription rate reflects the market’s recognition of our commitment to creating a prosperous future for our clients and the African continent. We are grateful for the support and look forward to driving impactful change through our infrastructure initiatives. The success of the CIF Series 1 offer illustrates a strong investor appetite for well-structured and impactful investment opportunities in this sector,” Head of Infrastructure Fund at Coronation Group, Oladele Akinjo, commented.

Affirming Investors confidence in the Coronation brand, the Managing Director of Coronation Asset Management, Aigbovbioise Aig-Imoukhuede noted, “Coronation Group’s ability to secure such a high subscription rate is a testament to its robust market position and the trust it has garnered from investors over a sustained period of time.

“The successful closure of the CIF Series 1 offer marks a new chapter in Coronation Asset Management’s journey towards transforming Nigeria’s infrastructure landscape. This record-breaking subscription level not only sets a new standard in the market but also reinforces Coronation Group’s position as a trusted and visionary leader in the financial services industry. As the Group continues to drive impactful change, it remains focused on its mission to create sustainable wealth and a prosperous future for its clients and the African continent.”

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