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Lagos Reaffirms Commitment to 40% Food Self-sufficiency by 2025

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The Lagos State Government says it is committed to implement the five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap to achieve 40 per cent food self-sufficiency by 2025.

Ms Abisola Olusanya, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, stated this at the Lagos Food Systems Stakeholders’ Breakfast Meeting, on Thursday in Lagos.

The five-year Agricultural Food Systems Roadmap was launched in 2021 by Gov.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Olusanya said the state government would provide funds for agric service providers, improved rice paddy production and land bank collaboration with sister states.

“We will go live on eight projects which include, Central Logistics Hub, Lagos Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (LACE), capacity building for horticulture stakeholders, full operations and capacity building for stakeholders in the Lagos Food Production Centres.

“Others are execution of state-wide intervention and Green Wall Initiative,” she said.

Olusanya listed others as the establishment of Agricultural Value Chains Entreprise Activation Programme, Agri-thon, Lagos Cares, Lagos Entrepreneurship Programme and the Lagos Agric Scholars Programme.

“The state government will also create the Lagos Agrinnovation Clusters, the Food Value Chains’ Destination, the Lagos Central Food Security System and Logistics Hub and the Middle Level Agro Product Hub.”

Olusanya said part of the roadmap was to increase production of rice paddy in order to meet the growing rice consumption of the state.

The commissioner said the state government would increase the production of rice paddy by partnering with other sister states such as Niger and Kebbi states on land bank collaboration.

Olusanya listed the projects to be undertaken by the state government to include Lagos Rice Mill, the Central Logistics Hub, – the Red Meat Initiative, Lagos Feedlot System and Butchers’ Academy among others.

The commissioner said the ministry would set up the Lagos feedlot system, establishment of Butchers’ Academy, creation of Last mile meat Shop.

Olusanya said the purpose of the meeting was to intimate the stakeholders on the ministry’s activities for the year 2024 and also get their contributions.

Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the governor on Agriculture, Dr Oluwarotimi Fashola, said the state government would require N50 billion to produce 100,000 tonnes of rice paddy in 2024.

Fashola said the Imota Rice Mill was able to produce 15,000 tonnes of rice paddy in 2023.

“We started off with about 5,000 tonnes of paddy and with the genuity of the team we were able to partner with the Commodity and Exchange Board that brought another close to 10,000 paddy for us to end the year.

“We were able to do roughly about 15,000 tonnes of paddy which is over 120,000 bags of rice in 2023, but this year we are hoping to do 100,000 tonnes of paddy.

“Believe me, that is not cheap because last year we started about N200,000 per ton but today as I speak, the cost of paddy is about N510,000 per ton.

“In other words, if we are going to do 100,000 tonnes per paddy we will need N50 billion,” he said.

Fashola said the state government was currently in talks with Niger and Kebbi states to give them farmers on a large scale that it could buy paddy from at reasonable costs.

Also, Mr Emmanuel Olotu, Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, urged stakeholders in the agric space to improve agricultural production in 2024.

Olotu commended the Ministry of Agriculture for its contributions in heading the programme to allow them to collectively share the goal and projects for the year 2024.

He said: “Our shared goal should be the development of resilience and efficiency that can benefit our farmers and customers, and improve on the agricultural plan agenda.

“Lagos State through the Ministry of Agriculture is to create agro stakeholders in order to leverage on the developmental agenda of the state.”

Olotu said as agro stakeholders their role was pivotal by maximising the ground work led by the ministry.

He urged stakeholders to collectively shape the food system by offering a full support to unlock the full potential of the food system and contribute to the development of agriculture in the state.

The state’s Head of Civil Service, Mr Olabode Agoro, said the state government was bringing back operations to feed the nation by allowing the civil servants to participate in the agricultural sector.

Agoro said his mother, a retired civil servant, was also into agricultural produce, urging the civil servants in the state to engage in agriculture.

In his remarks, Mr Mosopefolu George, the State Commissioner for Economy, Planning and Budget, said the state government has already increased its budget on agriculture.

George attributed the increase to the importance of the food chain and agriculture system to the state.

He noted that the ministry had been doing well in the area of rice mills, food and logistics hub just to mention a few.

NEWS

Insecurity: We’ll Win the Battle Against Criminals – Ododo

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Gov. Usman Ododo of Kogi on Wednesday vowed to lead and win the war against criminal elements in the state.

Ododo stated this during the inauguration of the Nigeria Police, Metropolitan Quick Response Unit office complex in Lokoja.

The Ododo administration initiated and executed the project within 90 days, as part of measures to enhance security network in the state.

The governor said his administration would not condone security breach, warning that: “I’m decisive in taking the fight to criminal elements’ hideout to wipe them out completely in the state.

“This is because my administration is not one that will be preoccupied by trying to deal with security challenges without an end.

“I am not here to do my best. I am here to defeat criminals.

“In fact, we are winning the war against insecurity and we are very intentional about our work to strengthen the state’s security architecture.”

The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to combat crimes and ensure the safety, security of lives and property of the people.

According to Ododo, the Metropolitan Quick Response operation is a proactive step to enhance security and build upon the solid foundation of the state’s security architecture, which started under the administration of Yahaya Bello.

“Nothing would be spared to guarantee safety and security in every inch of the state.

“The Metropolitan Quick Response Squad aims to ensure a safe environment for all residents and visitors in Kogi, with a focus on 24-hour response capability, enhanced intelligence gathering, and community-based approach to policing,” he said.

While commending the security agencies for their dedication and sacrifices, Ododo pledged to prioritise technological enablers to enhance intelligence gathering capabilities in combating emerging security threats.

He acknowledged President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to reverse security challenges nationwide, and pledged continued support to the Federal Government’s war against terrorism.

The governor enjoined residents of the state to be vigilant and to provide credible information to the security agencies to eliminate criminal elements.

The Commissioner of Police, Bethrand Onuoha, commended the governor for his resilience in tackling crimes in the state.

Onuoha said the edifice would give the response squad ample space to operate and help the police and other agencies in dealing with criminal elements.

The quick response squad is a security initiative in partnership with the Rapid Response Squad of the Nigeria Police and the state’s Joint Task Force to tackle criminal activities. (NAN)

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NEWS

Cleric Urges FG  to Avert Planned Youth Protest

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  The Chief Imam of Lagos State University, Prof. Amidu Sanni,  has advised the Federal Government to do its possible best to avert the planned nationwide youth protest.

Sanni said that the government could  initiate urgent  actions that would reduce the cost of living as a strategy to stop the protest.

The cleric spoke in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos.

Some groups  had  threatened to stage the protest over hardship in the nation.

The protest is proposed to start from Aug. 1 and end on Aug. 10.

Sanni said that the  protest should be avoided because it could be hijacked by hoodlums to cause violence.

“Some political players  may also cash in on the situation for personal reasons.

“Such politicians should be disappointed  by the government through making things easy for the citizens and averting the protest.

“What the national government needs to do is to set in motion, a feasible, visible and sustainable means of addressing food insecurity.

“It should make foods  affordable and available,” the cleric said.

He said that immediate, medium and long-term measures with scalable and verifiable outcomes were urgently indeed. (NAN)

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Tinubu Signs Development Commission Establishment Bills

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President Bola Tinubu has signed into law bills to accelerate development across geo-political zones in the country.

This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The statement said the President assented to the North-West Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2024, and the South-East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023.

According to the statement, the North-West Development Commission is set up to facilitate the reconstruction of roads, houses, and business premises destroyed by multidimensional crisis.

It is also expected to tackle poverty, literacy level, ecological problems, and any other related environmental or development challenges in North-West states.

It added that the South-East Development Commission was established to ensure the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses and other infrastructural damages suffered by the zone.

It is also expected to tackle ecological problems and other related environmental or developmental challenges in South-East states.

“President Tinubu believes in building the nation on the fulcrum of fairness, equity, and unity.

“Hence, he is committed to ensuring equitable development, inclusive governance, and the provision of qualitative services to all Nigerians — no matter where they reside — while knitting even more tightly together the national fabric,” it said. (NAN)

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