Nigeria: For almost 55 years now, the Akinyele Local Government Area (LGA) has been hosting the International Institute of Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. For its part, IITA has provided jobs for hundreds of locals and generate business in the local community, in addition to its core mandate of helping transform agriculture and food systems in communities in a climate crisis.
According to departing Director General Dr Nteranya Sanginga, this symbiotic relationship benefits both the local community and IITA and will succeed and continue with inputs from both parties. This mutually beneficial relationship, he said, is important. “As good neighbours, we need to care for each other. We give, you give.”
As part of IITA’s corporate social responsibility and giving back to its host community, the Institute –with the help of local engineers and IITA’s Facilities Management Services or FM–has constructed a primary health centre that would serve the health needs of the community.
The building was recently inaugurated by Sanginga in one of his last official acts as Director General. The event was attended by LGA leaders, traditional “baales” (local leaders or chiefs), residents, and IITA management representatives and staff.
Sanginga, always the action man and visionary leader, said that what is more important than the building, however, is “what the facility can do to provide primary health care support for children and mothers or the sick in the community….”
He challenged the local leaders to come up with a proposal on how the LGA and IITA can work together on this before he leaves Nigeria for good in a few days–how the clinic will operate to achieve impact. He asked the community to support IITA as well to make it stronger and to “care for each other.”
“I want to leave Nigeria with a plan on how to operate this centre… and also on how we can encourage young girls and boys to go into agriculture.”
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