Oyo state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has commissioned the Clinic, Wellness Center and Crèche at the headquarters of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan.
Putting the commissioning in a larger perspective, Governor Ajimobi cited striking figures that highlighted the need and benefits of such facilities for an agricultural research center, and the nexus between healthy lifestyle and productivity. He said that, for example, the incidence of diabetes is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa, with related health costs estimated at US$ 67.03 billion, or US$8836 for every diabetic patient.
“I congratulate and commend the IITA Women’s Group and the Management of IITA for paying attention to the health and welfare of its staff. The Health and Wellness Center could help us in reducing the costs associated with modern-day illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. The Crèche, on the other hand, will help ensure that children of staff are well-taken cared of while their parent or parents are working.”
“These efforts are indeed heartening as these facilities will promote and enhance the physical, mental, and social quality of life of staff,” the governor emphasized.
Governor Ajimobi also cited how his own administration’s work complements that of IITA. “In Oyo State, we are investing in agriculture, health and other sectors to improve the lives of our people. This year, my administration purchased and distributed tractors to farmers to enhance their productivity. We aim to attract more of the youth to agriculture, and we are energetically pursuing this through the provision of inputs and loans with other partner financial institutions.”
“There are lots of complementarities between what IITA is doing and what my administration is doing. Let us continue to work together,” the Governor said. IITA Director General, Dr Nteranya Sanginga said the presence of IITA in Oyo state makes the state strategic, and called for greater collaboration between the state and the Institute.
He said the facilities would help staff to be in good health to tackle the constraints of development in Africa.
Both IITA and the State agreed to work together to improve the fortunes of farmers in the state especially in the areas of job and wealth creation for youths.