©2010 Copyright The Embassy of Nigeria The Hague, The Netherlands
SPEECH DELIVERED BY HE DR. MRS. N.N. AKANBI, DURING COURTESY CALL ON THE
HONOURABLE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCES IN ABUJA.
It is with honour and pleasure that I bring to you a team of businessmen in the agricultural sector from the Netherlands on a courtesy call. May I therefore seize the opportunity of this occasion to express my gratitude to Your Excellency for receiving me and the delegation from the Netherlands.
2. It is a privilege to inform you that the purpose of the Agricultural Trade Mission to Nigeria by the Netherlands African Business Council/the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in partnership with the Nigerian Embassy in The Hague, is to facilitate valuable and sustainable trade relations between Nigeria and the Netherlands as well as contribute to the further development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
3. The Agricultural Trade Mission is therefore in line with the agenda of government as it supports one of the seven point agenda of Mr. President namely Food Security in the agricultural sector. We appreciate and commend government’s policy and focus on food security. We are hopeful that the situation where Nigeria remains a net importer of food will be reversed if initiative such as agricultural trade mission for investment into agriculture is embraced and supported.
4. We believe that the agricultural sector of Nigeria’s economy holds the key to the revitalisation of the economy. This is because agriculture contributed and still contributes significantly to the country’s GDP and revenue base. It provides employment to a very significant proportion of Nigeria’s work force.
5. Furthermore, the Mission had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and sought his support and that of his Ministry towards implementing the outcome of the trade mission.
6. I am pleased to report that we had useful and productive engagements with the Governors of Lagos and Kwara States, policy makers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector. We are convinced that the outcome of our interaction and discussions with the Governors, other policy makers and stakeholders in the agricultural sector, will provide a framework for future interaction between the Nigerian agro based businessmen and those of the Netherlands.
7. We are also convinced that, with your support and that of other stakeholders, the relations between Nigeria and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, can be further expanded through this initiative to boost interaction between Nigeria and the Netherlands in the agricultural sector. This will no doubt enable Nigerian agricultural entrepreneurs to learn from the wealth of experience of their Dutch counterparts in horticulture, food processing and packaging.
8. As the focal Ministry that shoulders the responsibility of ensuring food security in Nigeria, I wish to request Your Excellency to support our initiative so that in the near future Nigeria/Netherlands relations will blossom in the agricultural sector for the benefit of the two countries.
9. I should also encourage Your Excellency to undertake a visit to Netherlands to exchange ideas with your counterpart in the Ministry of Agriculture to explore other areas of cooperation with the Ministry/other stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
10. We shall listen to your wise counsel and thoughts on the Trade mission as well as learn about the programmes of your Ministry regarding investments in the agricultural sector of our great country.
11. I wish to assure you that the Agricultural Trade Mission will immediately commence the work of transforming our discussions into action for the benefit of our countries.
12. I thank you, Sir.