Dr. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, has inaugurated 23 new chairmen and members of the boards of parastatals, agencies and institutions under the supervision of the ministry.
At the inauguration of the new boards in Abuja at the weekend, Lokpobiri warned the chairmen and members of the boards to shun corruption and adhere strictly to the tenets of corporate governance.
He further tasked them to bring their wealth of experience to bear in policy articulation and formulation to support the institutions to which they had been appointed to by giving strategic direction and ensuring attainment of set objectives.
Lokpobiri, “Permit me to remind you that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is devoted to ensuring positive change in the lives of our people and improve their standard of living and this can only be achieved through transparency and accountability in the conduct of government’s business.
“In this regard, let accountability and zero tolerance to corruption be your watchword as you discharge your duties in your respective institutions.
“Please note that your role is non-executive and part-time. As board chairmen and members, you are to ensure the adherence to the tenets of corporate governance and remember that you have statutory responsibilities to bring to bear your wealth of experience on policy articulation and formulation for your agencies.
“The heads of agencies and parastatals are enjoined to work amicably with their board members,” he stated.
The minister also charged the Agricultural Research Institutes and Colleges under the supervision of the ministry to develop new technologies, inputs, production techniques, storage and distribution processes through research for improved yields and reduction in losses.
He assured that the ministry was irrevocably committed to developing agriculture and making it the key driver of rural development for the transformation of the economy, with a view to attaining food security, generating employment and creating wealth for the citizenry.
Responding on behalf of chairmen and members of boards of agencies inaugurated, the Chairman of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Bar. Adetunji Ajagbe, thanked President Buhari for counting them worthy to be appointed; assuring that they would do their best to justify the confidence reposed in them.
He noted that agriculture was so crucial to attainment of food security, employment generation and diversification of the economy, noting that they would do their best to assist the nation to achieve the targets.