Ahead of the Festivals coming up later in the month, the Lagos State Government has pledged to make rice available to residents at a reduced cost of N13,000 per 50kg bag.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, disclosed this on Thursday during the 2016 Agricultural Summit organised by the Agricultural Sectoral Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Ambode, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Food Security, Mr. Ganiyu Okanlawon, said the state had entered into a partnership with Kebbi State Government to produce ‘Lake Rice’ which would be made available to consumers at N13,000 per bag in the coming weeks.
Speaking during the programme with theme ‘walking hand-in-hand to move agriculture forward,’ Amobode disclosed that his government had also established a department of agribusiness in the Ministry of Agriculture, an agricultural trust fund and the first commodity exchange market in Nigeria.
In her opening remarks, the President, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande noted that the agricultural sector was expected to play a pivotal role in the nation’s quest for diversification through increased non-oil earnings, job creation and foreign exchange earnings.
“These are needed to drive the economy towards the path of recovery from recession,” she said.
Citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Akande noted that even after the recent rebasing of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, agriculture still accounted for a large share of its economic activities.
She urged the government to do more in terms of providing enabling business environment where private sector businesses could thrive, adding, “The development of a good rail network to facilitate the movement of agro produce to markets cannot be overemphasised.