The African Development Bank (AfDB) has stated that the commercial agriculture being operated by the Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) will enhance agro-based businesses in Ekiti state and the country in general.
AfDB also made it known that the 400-bed multi-system Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital has started giving the country hope that the trend of medical tourism abroad will reduce, considering the hi-tech equipments and quality of medical personnel available in the hospital.
Mr. Ebrima Faal, Senior Director, Country Department, AfDB Nigeria, spoke at ABUAD on Saturday during a courtesy visit to the founder of the university, Chief Afe Babalola.
Faal also revealed that the multi-sectoral farm and multi-system hospital investments of ABUAD and experts in diverse fields in the university will help in the smooth take-off of the knowledge hub or zone being proposed by the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, had during a visit to the university in 2017, agreed to the university’s request for the granting of USD40 million loan for more infrastructure development in the university.
“We are meeting the state government on the creation of knowledge hub and how we can support transportation, agriculture and agro-based processing industries in Ekiti. ABUAD has done exeedingly well in the area of agriculture. When you talk of better agro-based zone that can boost the economy, ABUAD is laying a good foundation.
“With your multifceted investments and exploits in academics, you are not only a leading university in Africa, but ABUAD is now the anchor of development in Ekiti. The institution is key to Ekiti and South-West economy.
“AfDB is proud of ABUAD’s achievements. One would wonder how a university that was established nine years ago could dominate virtually every sector in Nigeria. The feat that you have achieved makes it much easier for us to do business with you,” Faal stated.
Commending AfDB for its strong development focus in the African continent, Afe Babalola said the bank’s fund given to the university was judiciously spent to equip the hospital to a world class status.
He also added that the lack of airport facility in Ekiti is making the state inaccessible to investors, thereby affecting the institution.