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Over 15m people to benefit, as LASG kicks off food security systems & logistics hub

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By Moses Adeniyi

An estimated number of over 15 million people have been projected to

benefit variously from a Food Security Systems and Logistics Hub Which the Lagos State Government (LASG) has flagged off.

It was gathered on an average that over five million people would gain access to wealth, while over 10million will gain accessibility to available foods through the Hub which is sited at Ketu-Ereyan, Epe Lagos.

As gathered, the Lagos State Food Security Systems & Central Logistics Hub will be built on 1.2 million square metres of land, having such components as Aggregation/storage facilities; Administrative offices; Trading/Brokering facilities; Packaging facilities; Processing facilities; Cold chain/dry goods services.

Others are Logistics Services/Trailer park; Water treatment plant; Health centre;               Fuel station/Fire station; Abattoir and Lairage.

According to official information, the project will be implemented in two phases – the pilot phase, which has kicked off and the main phase.

The development of the Hub, it was gathered, will be done through a collaboration between the Lagos State Government and the private sector, through a “Design-Build-Finance-Operate-and-Transfer model.”

At the ceremonial flag-off of the construction of what will be the largest Food Logistics Park in Africa tagged “the Lagos State Central Food Security Systems & Logistics Hub” at Ketu-Ereyan, Epe Lagos, the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the project is a proof of his Administration’s “commitment to addressing the challenges of stakeholders in the Agri-space and giving hope to the people through improved quality of life.”

According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, upon completion, the hub will create wealth “for more than 5 million people, feed more than 10 million Lagosians, guarantee food supplies for at least 90 days, provide storage facilities for more than 1,500 trucks per day, service the needs of thousands of operators per annum, and process large commercial transactions.”

“The project will improve productivity, guarantee greater returns for our farmers, by cutting out several layers of middlemen; facilitate improved access to modern processing and packaging services for farmers; and generate useful data for the use of government agencies, private sector players, and multilateral agencies,” Governor Sanwo-Olu said, while reflecting on the project’s significance.

“In addition, the Hub will provide a better buying experience for consumers; help achieve a reduction in logistics costs, while guaranteeing the standardization of quantity and quality for agricultural products.

“I can boldly say that this is one of the most important agricultural interventions that Nigeria has ever seen. The fact that it is taking place in Lagos, the most populous and fastestgrowing subnational entity in the country, means that it is bound to have significant national, regional, and continental impact,” he added.

On the strategy of the Government to outsmart the challenge of limited land mass, Sanwo-Olu said, “As a government that is fully aware of this potential, we have left no stone unturned in creating the policy frameworks that will power our emerging agricultural revolution.

“This is what led us to the development of the Lagos State 5-Year Agricultural & Food Systems Road Map (2021–2025), launched in April 2021; the overall objective being the attainment of total synergy in all food systems, from production to processing to distribution.

“The Road Map seeks to take full advantage of all the agricultural value chains in which Lagos State has competitive and comparative advantages, with a view to enhancing our level of selfsufficiency in food production from the current 18% to 40%.”

He called on the people of Epe and the Lagos East senatorial district to take full ownership of the project, charging them to ensure they “protect the facilities that will be put in place and always do everything to forestall all acts of sabotage and vandalism.”

“You all stand to benefit greatly from having this Hub here. The entire Epe Division will immediately enjoy the dividends, starting from this construction phase of the project.

“There will be many jobs for you, as well as various opportunities to supply construction materials. And when the project is up and running, it will attract complementary development: housing estates, financial institutions, business enterprises, and other ancillary services.

“This will indeed change the face of Ketu-Ereyun community and advance the development of the Epe Division,” he said.

He, however, charged the leadership of the State’s Ministry of Agriculture and other agencies of government involved in the project, as well as the project ideator and lead developer, Messrs. Origin Tech Group and its consortium partners, to ensure the timely delivery of this laudable project.

In her remarks, the State’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya said the Hub Which according to her “signifies the beginning of another legacy project of the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu administration,” was significant in relation to the status of Lagos which is “unarguably one of the largest cities in Africa with over 24 million inhabitants; a sub-national with a GDP of about 20 African countries,” demanding that the Government must innovate to manage contending and competing needs of the people with speed and dexterity.

She mentioned that “the Lagos Central Food security systems and logistics hub project was conceived at the very beginning of the administration of Mr. Governor – who had the vision for a Lagos with food reserves, translating to a higher degree of availability, lower prices, less wastage, and more nutritious and wholesomefood products.

“Upon completion, the Food Security Systems & Central Logistics Hub will unleash the huge potential in both the midstream and downstream sectors of the agricultural and foods sector,” she added.

Lagos State remains the most populous State in the Country with an estimated population of about 22million and hence, the most important food market.

Some of the agriculture interventions of the Sanwo-Olu led Administration since in 2019 include Capacity-building – which have recorded thousands of Lagosians who have benefited from numerous agricultural training/internship programmes, particularly those targeted at youths, like the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP), among others.

Others include Partnerships with Multilateral agencies – particularly the World Bank, in programmes such as APPEALS (Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support scheme) where 10,000 farmers and agro-processors have benefited from trainings, grant support, extension services etc, and more recently, the Lagos CARES Project where 13,955 farmers were beneficiaries of input, training, and facilities rehabilitation support.

Also, was a collaboration with Mastercard Foundation and IITA which saw to the training and empowerment of over 13,000 women & youths in horticulture, crop production and poultry.

Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation programme – which has seen over 10,000 farmers who have benefited from input support such as fish feed, poultry feed, battery cages, fibre glass boats with outboard engines, smoking kiln, collapsible ponds, fish juveniles, Point-of-lay, growers, pig feed etc.

Investments in production and processing facilities – the soon-to-be-completed Imota Rice Mill, the largest in Africa, will produce 2.4million bags of 50kg rice annually, projected also to create thousands of jobs.

Mechanization – Investments in tractors and other equipment, to help drive down the cost associated with land clearing and production activities for farmers.

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Tinubu appoints Agama as SEC DG

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Mariga Aliyu Katuka as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC is the main regulatory institution of the Nigerian capital market and supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Ajuri Ngelale, said in a statement on Friday in Abuja his principal also appointed Mr. Emomotimi Agama as the Director-General of the commission.

Also appointed into the board of SEC are Frana Chukwuogor, Executive Commissioner (Legal and Enforcement), Mr. Bola Ajomale, Executive Commissioner (Operations), Mrs. Samiya Hassan Usman, Executive Commissioner (Corporate Services), Mr. Lekan Belo, Non-Executive Commissioner and Mr. Kasimu Garba Kurfi, Non-Executive Commissioner.

“The President anticipates that all members of the Board of this critical commission will bring to bear their wealth of experience and competence in advancing the commission’s core mandate of developing and regulating a capital market that is dynamic, fair, transparent, and efficient, to bolster investor confidence and contribute immeasurably to the nation’s economic development,” the statement added.

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Continuous conduct of research key in resolving Air Force challenges — AOC

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By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Tactical Air Command (TAC), AVM Francis Edosa, has revealed that the continuous conduct of research and development will help in resolving most of the challenges confronting the Air Force.

Edosa, represented by the Chief of Staff, TAC, AVM EmekaAshiegbu, made the disclosure in Makurdi at a one-day Intra Command Research and Development Competition over the weekend.

He explained that  through research  the service had deployed several platforms to quell crises in most troubled parts of the country, adding that it also builds the capacity and enhances service delivery.

The AOC further explained that in the military industry, research involves the continuous development and upgrading of prototypes of new military systems without necessarily going into full scale development or production.

Edosa said that the competition “is germane  to our effectiveness as a service and imperative to the myriad of security challenges confronting our country.”

He charged participants to contribute meaningfully at the competition to improve the service.

The Guest of Honour at the occasion, Air Commodore Albert Bot, charged them to contribute their quota through research and development to advance the service to greater technological heights.

He said such contributions would help in curbing the menace of insurgency faced in most parts of the country.

Bot commended the Air Force for the application of air power in joint and interagency counter insurgency operations, which he attributed to modest outcomes in research and technology.

He said through research and development, crisis had been brought down speedily across many troubled parts of the country.

He also commended the Federal Government (FG) for having deep interest in research and the promotion of local content.

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Rotary Club of Rockcity offers free medical services to over 500 beneficiaries in Ogun

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Omobolaji Adekunle

In commemoration of Rotary Family Health Day, an event organised by Rotary Club of Rockcity under Rotary District 9110 in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  offered free medical services to over 500 beneficiaries in Abeokuta communities.

The exercise which held at Kugba Primary Health Care Centre, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital benefitted ten communities which included Oke-Aregba, Adatan, Oke-Odo, Labawa, Igbaru,  Kugba and other neighboring Communities.

Rotary family Health day is a day set aside by Rotary International to offer free  health care services, health promotion talks and distribution of disease prevention materials to families which form the basic units of every community.

The event was well organized with registration booths for beneficiaries, blood pressure measurement stands, and several fundamental blood tests were carried out to screen beneficiaries for Malaria, Hepatitis B and HIV for consenting individuals. Diabetes screening was also done.

Medical Doctors and other healthcare professionals were on ground to consult and offer professional services to beneficiaries.

Items such as Insecticide treated mosquito nets for nursing and pregnant mothers, sanitary pads and some basic medications were given free to people.

Health promotion talks on the importance of good personal hygiene as a veritable means of preventing diseases was given by Rtn (Dr) Moses Olanrewaju who is also a member of Rotary club of Rockcity.

Speaking with journalists the President of the club, Rtn (Engr) Gbolagoke Oluleke Adebiyi explained the aims and objectives of the exercise and the need to have this kind of gesture in the society, urging the government at all levels to ensure easy access and affordable healthcare to people.

According to him “Rotary family health day is one of the projects tagged for the health of the smallest unit of the society which is family. The purpose is to provide succour to the family which plays a pivotal role in any community.

This is why Rotary International gives family health all the attention it deserves because Rotary International is known for service to humanity.

The president  expressed satisfaction with the turn out of people; “this implies that people need more  access to free and affordable health care services,” he said.

“If this kind of service comes up often, a lot of families that don’t have the privilege to go to hospital due to their economic conditions would have the opportunity to complain about their health and benefit a lot. They would be able to use the avenue to express themselves about what they are going through to doctors

“My advice to the government is to make health care services affordable for the masses, especially the less privileged. When the health care is affordable for people, health-seeking behaviors will be prompt thereby forestalling preventable complications.”

He however appreciated all members of the Club and volunteers who participated in the exercise.

Further more, a medical consultant and member of the Club, Rtn (Dr) Moses Olanrewaju reiterated the choice of the venue saying:

“We chose Kugba Health Centre for this year’s Family Health Day because of the economic situation in the country and there is a need to extend our hands of service to the communities.

“We have carried out many basic health clinic tests and we have really detected a lot of diseases running among the members of the community. People that will need further specialist care are appropriately referred to the nearest secondary or tertiary health institutions like State Specialist Hospital, Ijaye or Federal Medical Centre, Idi-aba.

“Some non-communicable diseases have also been detected and have been appropriately referred. Also, patients have been adequately counselled on the need to seek health at appropriate health facilities in order to safeguard their health. We can confidently say that Rotary has positively impacted this community and we are sure that the services rendered have improved the health of families,” he added

The community head, Alhaji Lateef Muiz appreciated the members of Rotary Club of Rockcity for their kind gesture, stating that some members of family who could not have opportunity to go for medical check-ups due to financial constraint have been able to do so through this and have benefited a lot from the exercise.

On behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. Soliu Yusuf expressed his pleasure over the exercise which he described as an avenue that has enabled people to know what they don’t know about their health, adding that the exercise has been very useful for the vulnerable people in the communities.

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