Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday assured members of the Day Old Chicks Merchant Association of Nigeria (DOCMAN) of improved system and the backing of the government.
Obasanjo gave the assurance during his surprise visit Obasanjo Day Old Chicks Market, located at Oluyole Estate in Ibadan. The market was named after him.
The former president, who arrived at the market at about 9.20 a.m, was conducted round the congested market by Deacon Sunday Agusa, the General Manager of Obasanjo Farms, Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there was massive turnout of traders at the market to welcome the former president.
Obasanjo said that his attention was drawn to the existence of the market by his staff member and the use of his name to grow the market to an international standard on day-old chicks in the country.
“My attention was drawn to the situation here, and I decided to come and see things myself.
“Consciously and unconsciously, you have developed into a source of market, you buy, you sell, and you interact.
“And, this has made it very popular, far and near; though, it was not structured.
“So, what remains is that if we don’t want them to send us away from here, we have to structure ourselves in order to continue to benefit from the gains of trading our day-old chicks.
“What I am saying in essence is that I will endeavour to see the governor to provide for us an alternative place, if this area is not available for you to bringing your hatched chicks or you coming to buy our chicks here.
“We have to plan against any government coming to send us away and that is the structure that I am talking about,” Obasanjo said.
Also, Olaiya Ogunmoyewa, the DOCMAN Chairman, appreciated the coming of the former president, saying that the visit had lessened their fears on the future of the market.
Ogunmoyewa said Obasanjo had allayed their fears and spoken their agitations, saying that they were pleased with what the former president told them.
“This is what was on our mind, and you have told us the move you will take to assist us.
“We want to thank you and that by God’s grace, we shall all be happy at the end of the day,” he said.
Also, Alhaji Asimiyu Oyetunde, the immediate past Chairman of DOCMAN, expressed happiness at Obasanjo’s visit to the market and his promises.
Oyetunde said that some of the challenges affecting the association range from high cost of feed ingredients, which tell so much on the final consumers.
“A farmer that is supposed to have 10,000 capacity farm has reduced the farm capacity which tells on the output into the market,” he said.
Earlier, Agusa, who is also the DOCMAN Board of Trustee (BoT), said that visit of the former president was to assess the market and see how he could improve it.
“You can see that this place is not well structured and he wants to see how he can help us. We will appreciate it if the state government can give us a befitting place.
“We thank the former president on his visit. We are highly motivated and encouraged by his words and assurances,” he said.
NAN reports that the group presented a giant-sized portrait of the former president to him in appreciation of the visit.