ONDO State Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) in conjunction with Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Middleman Incorporation has organised the first Made in Ondo Fair to sensitise local business owners on how to avail public opportunities to empower themselves economically and create more wealth for the nation.
The two-day event started last Wednesday with the registration of participants, exhibition and presentation of their products, cooking competition and stakeholdersâ€™ discussions; and ended in a funfair grand finale on Thursday at Ijapo Event Centre, Akure, the state capital to commemorate the 2014 World Food Day. The day is celebrated annually with this yearâ€™s theme as: â€œFeeding the World, Caring for the Earth.â€
Present at the event were the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Kemi Mimiko, who represented Governor Mimiko, Commissioner for Health, Dayo Adeyanju, resource persons and beneficiaries of WECA.
There were also representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry (BoI), Ondo State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OSCCIMA), Bank of Agriculture (BOA),
Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Ondo State Micro-credit Agency (OSMA) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Addressing the crowd, the Chairman of WECA, Barrister Bolanle Olafunmiloye, enumerated the aims and objectives of the agency and benefits of the fair towards the economic development of the state.
â€œOur aim is that the Made in Ondo Fair will be a regular event where we can appreciate out talent and hard work in the production of goods along the entire value chain of agriculture and other sectors and related services such as ICT services, fashion designing, printing, publishing and graphic design, entertainment, marketing and others,â€ she said.
Olafunmiloye declared that the agency has engaged, trained and empowered the youths to invest in agriculture through its agro-business cities spread across the three senatorial districts of the state.
She affirmed that over 1,000 youths have benefited from WECA programmes, and currently has 280 young graduates on the farms with over 1,000 labour force working and urged the public to cooperate with the agency for maximum results.
According to her: â€œWe hope that with such programmes and cooperation from both the public and private sector, Ondo State will continue to appreciate its own products, improve on the quality, patronize and encourage its entrepreneurs, thereby providing a thriving environment to ensure economic development in the state.â€