By Lawrence Audu

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, was on Sunday presented the 2017 Zik Prize Award Leadership 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 was 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.

According to Advisory board member, PPRAC – Prof. Pat Utomi “The Prize is primarily to encourage and nurture leadership on the African Continent and in the Diaspora.” Adding that: “The year 2017 Zik Prize Award followed this noble tradition of recognizing service excellence”

In his citation read at the occasion, 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.”

Chief Audu Ogbeh was honoured along with some notable Nigerians in the categories of good governance, professional/political leadership and humanitarian service.