Akintola Deko

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Gabriel Akintola Deko (1913) was a Nigerian contractor and former regional Minister for Agriculture in the Western region of Nigeria, he was also a personal friend of Awolowo. As minister, he was involved in the promotion of an agriculture settlement scheme that would employ and pay an initial amount of capital to new graduates from an established agriculture training college. The graduates would engage in farming. This settlement scheme was borrowed from an Israeli agriculture development scheme, Moshav. The scheme was partly initiated to arrest a tide in the movement of young men and women to the urban areas where farming is hardly a career choice.

Life

Akin Deko was born in Idanre, Ondo State. He attended St Peters, Lagos, for primary education and for secondary education, he went to Ibadan Government College, he completed his studies in Nigeria at the Yaba Higher College in Lagos where he bagged a teaching certificate. He started work as a teacher at the Government College, in Ibadan, teaching mechanics and applied mathematics.

In a few years, he developed an interest in building and in 1947 went to the Brixton School of Building in London. He later started is own building contracting firm. However, in the 1950s, he was persuaded by his friend, Obafemi Awolowo to join politics and in 1956, he heeded Awolowo's advice and contested and won a seat to the regional House of Assembly, from where he was made regional Minister for Agriculture.[1]

Later in his career, he was the African regional representative at the Food and Agriculture Organization and he was also the pioneer Pro-chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

References

  • 1. ^ Rosalynde Ainslie, Catherine Hoskyns, Ronald Segal. Political Africa: A Who's Who of Personalities and Parties, Frederick A. Praeger, 1961. p 71-72.