Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has received the gift of a life crocodile from the National Rubber Producers, Processors and Marketing Association of Nigeria, NARPPMAN in Osun State.
Obasanjo received the gift shortly after a closed door meeting with members of the association at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The members of the association were led by it’s Chairman, Evangelist Oluwatosin Jeremiah.
According to Jeremiah during an interview with newsmen, the association had visited the former president to seek his help on the challenges facing the rubber industry in Nigeria.
He identified funding and land as the major challenges in the industry.
The Chairman explained that due to the six years gestation period of rubber many commercial banks are ready to give financial, thereby making fund a heavy task.
“Rubber will take six years before you start reaping the benefits. So, because of that gestation period commercial banks are running away from it. This has made it difficult for rubber to strive in Nigeria.
“Since we have discovered that Baba (referring to Obasanjo) recognised rubber and knows its importance to the sinking Nigerian economy, that’s why we came to seek his help. How do we raise money to develop rubber industry?
“Baba responded and he is ready to help,” he said.
Asked on what informed choice of crocodile as a present to Obasanjo, he responded “We can’t give him money, that’s why we settled for this and you can see how he received and valued it.”
The former President immediately handed over the crocodile to Mr Oluwadamilare Ajayi who is the Wildlife Curator at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Wildlife park.
Ajayi applauded the association’s gesture and called on stakeholders to help in the preservation and conservation of the wildlife for the future generation.
He said said “I must appreciate them. It’s a good gesture. This is what we want and also pray for other people, and encourage them that every wildlife isn’t bush meat and not all wildlife you capture should end in the pot of soup.
“The campaign of the facility like us is to ensure that animals are preserved and conserved for the future generations to be able to come and see.
“There are so many animals that out of wanting to eat and eat, some of them are not very available in the forest. So, we appreciate them and we also encourage others that not all animals must end in the pot of soup.”
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