Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, OFR has been presented with the 2017 Zik Prize Leadership Award in Public Service by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre in Lagos.
Chief Audu Ogbeh who emerged the only winner in the Public Service category was recognised for his success in championing the return to Agriculture as a means of diversifying the Nigerian economy.
The Zik Prize Leadership Award, instituted by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre, Lagos 24 years ago in honour of the first President of Nigeria, Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe is primarily to encourage and nurture leadership on the African Continent and in the Diaspora and to foster the tradition of recognizing service excellence.
In a citation read at the awards ceremony in Lagos, Chief Ogbeh was described as the farmer's farmer, whose appointment represents the most square-pegged appointment in recent times; and credited for the feat of upturning rice importation, stimulating local rice production, and making Nigeria now the largest rice producer in West Africa and agriculture becoming the largest employer of labour, providing up to 70 per cent of the nation's employment.”
Speaking on the award, the Minister stated: “I happily dedicate this award to the Nigerian farmer especially young farmers and new entrants into agriculture; and all Nigerians, for their response to the call to return to Agriculture in spite of the difficulties that have faced agricultural production in Nigeria. Personally, this Award is an encouragement. I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve. I appreciate the organizers of the Zik Prize Awards. Everyone at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and those working for me should consider this their prize because I couldn't have done it alone. I want to thank the Nigerian public even for their critical opinion which has helped to guide us. We listen to them and we adjust, to do better."
The Award Plaque to the Minister was jointly presented by Chairman of the All Progressive Congress APC - Chief John Oyegun and Nigeria's former Senate President Ken Nnamani.
Other prominent Nigerians honoured include Rivers State Governor - Nyesom Wike and his Katsina State counterpart recognised for Good Governance; APC chieftain and former Governor of Osun State - Chief Adebisi Akande was honoured with Political Leadership Award while wives of two State Governors - Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano and Hajia Hadiza Abubakar of Anambra and Bauchi States respectively were honoured for their Humanitarian Services.
More photos below...