The Abuja Session, referred to as the Policy session, of International Cocoa and Chocolate Forum 2024 ended on very high notes last Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja Nigeria.
It had in attendance, the Honourary Chairman of the Forum, Chief Olawale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy who declared the Forum open with promising and actioned statements.
Special Guests at the 2024 ICCF in Abuja
He reiterated the commitment of the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda and gave an example of the Eti-Oni Road which was seen as an example of an important road for ease of transportation of produce but left abandoned for decades was included in the federal budget of 2024.
HRM Queen Angelique=Monet Thompson looks on as Minister Edun and Oba Dokun Thompson banters
The Honourable Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who was Special Guest of Honour in his remarks added that his office was also going to work to ensure full implementation of the budget with special interest given to Agriculture value addition strategies ensuring that the farmers have a comfortable environment for their activities to thrive.
In her goodwill message, the First Lady of Kwara State who is also the Global Ambassador of ICD, Her Excellency Ambassador Prof Mrs Olufolake Abdulrazaq commended the conscientious and sustained work of ICD which was founded by HRM Oba Dokun Thompson, The Oloni of Eti-Oni, Osun State and supported by his Olori, HRM Queen Angelique-Monét Thompson, to ensure gaps are bridged in a manner that transformation of communities is achieved which was demonstrated in Kwara by given necessary support to small artisan chocolate makers in the state.
The Minister of Agriculture who was represented by the Director of Tree Crops laid emphasis on the ministry’s agenda to focus on productivity while also actively working to ensure the cocoa production output is significantly increased over the next 5yrs.
In attendance, included Mr Abba Bello MD/CEO, NEXIM Bank, Dr Patrick Adebola, ED/CEO, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, CFR the Mutawali of Borno, Mr Olanrewaju Shittu, Board Chairman of SunTrust Bank, Mr Akin Sawyerr who heads the newly established CBN Students Loan Agency, Mr Ayo Akinola, Technical Adviser, Ondo State Cocoa Council, Ms Olena Oliynyk-Dunn, Economic Associate in the US Embassy amongst other distinguished participants.
The Business Session will be held in Lagos today, Thursday 11 January, 2024 and will bring together, financiers, investors, entrepreneurs and cocoa enthusiasts. Expected are the Governors of Lagos and Osun States as well as the Minister of Industry Trade & Investment and the Minister of Environment.