The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello has pledged to strengthen the existing collaboration between the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science to improve the quality of soil in the FCT.
Bello, represented by the Permanent Permanent Secretary FCTA, Mr Adesola Olusade, made the pledge when the Governing Council of the institute led by its President, Prof. Ayoade Ogunkunle, paid a courtesy call on the FCTA, on Thursday in Abuja.
The minister said that the FCT Administration was very concerned about the quality of land because the productivity was largely dependent on the soil.
“If the land quality is weak, you will farm for nothing, and therefore, for a body to regulate the use of land is very important and appropriate for the country.
He assured that any agency of government that was desirous to contribute to the development of the FCT “is always well received”.
“We are here to receive you today on behalf of the FCT Minister by me, Adesola Olusade, the Permanent Secretary FCTA, the Mandate Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, FCT, Abubakar Ibrahim and other management of staff in the secretariat.
” We have taken note of the accomplishments of the institute and we also noted the paragraph two of your letter where you requested for an office space in the FCT. We will convey your request to the minister
” I thank you Prof. Ayoade for acknowledging the robust structure we have in the FCT and for the enlightenment you provided us on the institute. On thing is certain the institute appears to be the father of all.”Earlier, Ogunkunle explained that the institute was an agency under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with its Act enacted and signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Feb. 3, 2017.
He said that the institute was charged with the mandate of regulating and sustaining the profession of soil science and not just for the profession but the use of soil.
He revealed that currently the institute had over 350 registered soil scientist that could be vouched for and they counsel or advice people on the use of soil “and if you adhere to, it you are bound to succeed”.
According to him, soil is like the home for everybody, such as human being, plants, animals, and the nature of soil in every country is such that when we destroy it, there will be problem.
” If we don’t manage it sustainably, then we are in trouble. In developed countries where we studied, they make so many places untouchable because you cannot go to the next country to ask for their soil.
” You can ask for many other things but not soil. If a soil is erroded and damaged, it will take many years to be restored. Soil is like a living being; when you start using it, at a stage it doesn’t respond again unless it is well manage.”
The president use the opportunity to request for a piece of land from the FCT Minister to enable the institute build a befitting permanent headquarters.
” We want a piece of land that can be develop for the institute.” (NAN)