•‘Lagos Reducing Vulnerability to Food Shortages’ – Agric Commissioner
Lagos State has flagged off the construction of what will be the largest Food Security Systems and Central Logistics Park in sub-Saharan Africa.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, performed the sod turning at the site of the facility being built on 1.2 million square metres of land in Ketu-Ereyun, Epe.
Establishment of the food park is a component of an audacious five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Road Map (2021–2025) launched last year by the Sanwo-Olu administration to enhance food sufficiency in Lagos.
When completed, the central food and logistics hub is expected to create direct wealth for more than five million traders in the agricultural value chain, while guaranteeing uninterrupted food supplies to more than 10 million Lagosians, at least 90 days, in a period of scarcity.
The hub will have storage facilities for more than 1,500 trucks that will daily service the needs of thousands of operators within food value chain throughout the year, while large commercial transactions would be processed in the facility.
Besides, Sanwo-Olu visited the site of the State-owned Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Ketu-Ereyun, where the Governor inspected the level of construction work on the project.
Transactions on food items in Lagos are estimated to be N5 trillion yearly, just as farmers daily lose 40 per cent of produce worth millions due to lack of post-harvest storage system.
Sanwo-Olu said the central food hub would guarantee greater returns for farmers and investors in the agro-allied sector, as the facility would cut out several layers of middlemen and facilitate improved access to modern processing and packaging services.
The Governor said market matrix generated from the facility would help the Government generate useful data for public planning and for the use of private sector players to project investment.
He said: “Today’s flag-off of the Food Security Systems and Central Logistics Park is proof of our administration’s commitment to addressing the challenges of stakeholders in the Agri-space and giving hope to the people through improved quality of life. I make bold to say this is one of the most important interventions in agricultural sector that Nigeria has ever seen. The fact that this project is taking off in Lagos, the fastest-
growing sub-national entity, means that it is bound to have significant national, regional, and continental impact.
“This hub will provide a better buying experience for consumers, help achieve a reduction in logistics costs, while guaranteeing the standardisation of quantity and quality for agricultural products. It also will improve productivity, guarantee greater returns for farmers, by cutting out several layers of middlemen. It will 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.”
Sanwo-Olu said the choice of the location for the project was strategic, given its easy access and proximity to agrarian settlements. He said the State had secured a well thought out funding scheme to kick off the project, which he promised will be delivered in last quarter of 2024.
Lagos agricultural road map, the Governor said, sought to take full advantage of all value chains in which the State has competitive and comparative advantages, with a view to scale up self-sufficiency in food production from 18 to 40 per cent.
The Governor said the hub, when completed, would add to the catalogue of life-changing projects sited within Epe Division, which include 32-metric tons per hour Rice Mill in Imota, Agbowa-Ikosi Timberville, and Ketu-Ereyun Psychiatric Hospital, among others.
“The development of this all-important Central Logistics Hub will be achieved through a collaboration between the State Government and the private sector and will be implemented through a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-and-Transfer model. At every step of the way, we will be counting on the contributions of the private sector, in terms of financing and technical advisory and support,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, said the current global food shortages were parts of the harsh consequences of climate change and global warming, which, he said, had led to economic instability in some countries.
The Commissioner stressed that a continuous disruption in food distribution sequence could portend catastrophic consequences on security of the people, pointing out that Lagos initiated the agricultural plan to protect its residents from the effects of food shortages. The only way forward, she said, is to build a resilience that will protect Lagos.
“Upon completion, the Central Food and Logistics Park will unleash the potential in both the upstream and downstream of agricultural sector. This project will further reaffirm the leadership of Lagos as the first destination for agricultural produce along the West African corridor,” Olusanya said.
The project partner, Origin Group, assured the first phase of the project, which requires building storage facilities, would be delivered in the next seven months.
The hub will be operated on off-grid power source of 900 megawatts, and is expected to provide 16,000 direct jobs.
Amenities that will come to the facility include aggregation facilities, administrative offices, trading area, packaging facilities, processing facilities, cold chain/dry goods services, and logistics services.
Others are trailer park, water treatment plant, health centre, fuel station, fire station, abattoir and lairage.
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Pyrates disown viral video on 2023 presidential candidate
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity has distanced itself from lyrics of a viral video targeting one of the presidential candidates.
Aside from disowning the video, the group stated that those who canvass it do not represent the opinion or position of the Pyrates Confraternity and therefore “dissociate ourselves from any insinuations or misrepresentation, the video conveys.”
The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje in a press statement: Setting The Records Straight- Official Position Not in authorised Videos, noted that as a responsible organisation, it is mindful of the need to be circumspect by advocating for good governance without heating the polity.
According to Owoaje, Pyrates Confraternity have provided direct intervention and thought leadership on community and national issues using direct action or press releases with 100 of such attributed to nominated and authorised representatives.
Owoaje, while insisting that any suggestion that the video represents the outcome of a considered reflected “political opinion of the organisation is mischievous, misleading and out rightly false,” reiterated that “since our founding 70 years ago, we have never been politically affiliated or involved in electioneering.”
“We have never had a preferred candidate in any political election. We are not supporting or against any candidate in this 2023 election. Some of our members belong to different political parties and can support any candidate unconditionally in the knowledge that political activities at the level of partisanship are not allowed within our corporate entity.
“For the enthronement of democracy and democratic values of the freedom of political choice in Nigeria, our organisation and members opposed the military dictatorship. We joined hands with other civil societies to end military rule in Nigeria. Like several Nigerians, many of our members paid the ultimate price for the democracy we enjoy today. We fought for democratic principles as symbolised by June 12. Many of us were hounded into exile, imprisoned, tortured, businesses and employment destroyed, and our families terrorised by the military dictatorship for speaking truth to power.
“As an organisation, we cherish these democratic principles and reject any action of persons who will use songs or videos to tarnish the non-political stance of the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) inadvertently or wilfully. We denounce the political clickbait merchants desperately pursuing social media and economic mileage through deliberate misinformation about our organisation. They do not represent our values as ensconced in our ideals.”
Owoaje explained that the organisation’s desire is for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) supported by security agencies to conduct free, fair and transparent elections and has launched a campaign through https://www.ourvotescount.org.ng for that purpose.
“Finally, we reaffirm that all official positions of the National Association of Seadogs are hosted on our website, and social media handles. Our formal opinions are not disseminated on videos that have no official origin or organisational authorisation.”
Security: Oluwo Meets Security Operatives, Fulanis, Bororo, Others
As part of his commitment to checkmate insecurity in Iwoland, the Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, HIM Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi,today, met with security operatives, the Fulanis and Bororo in his palace to forestall further case of kidnapping in the territory.
The security men comprising the police, civil defense and Amotekun corps urged the heads of Fulanis and Bororo to assist them by giving adequate information to trail criminal infiltration mingling with them in the bush.
Oluwo described security as the life wire of every functioning community as he called for collaborative effort to curtail kidnapping case in Iwoland.
The area commander, ACP Omololu further enjoined individuals in the society to be security conscious and assist the security by providing security tips to aid effective policing. ACP Omololu disclosed his plan to convene an elaborate security stakeholders meeting.
The president of Iwo Board of Trustees (IBOT), Prof. Lai Olurode, pledged unalloyed support for optimum performance of the security agencies.
CBN, NIBSS SET TO TRANSFORM THE AFRICAN PAYMENT ECOSYSTEM WITH THE BRAND UNVEIL OF DOMESTIC CARD SCHEME
The CBN announced in 2022 that it will be launching a National Domestic Card Scheme in conjunction with the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) Plc, the Bankers Committee and other financial ecosystem stakeholders.
The new Domestic Card Scheme is a robust in-country Scheme tailored to address the specific requirements of Nigeria’s payment industry and provide innovative offerings tailored to the Nigerian market and beyond. The Scheme will transform the domestic and African payment landscape through the promotion of innovation in the payment, enhancement of interoperability domestically and internationally and improvement in the suite of products and solutions offerings by banks and other financial institutions such as debit, credit, virtual, loyalty and tokenized cards.
The National Domestic Card set to be delivered to over 200 million Nigerians offers unique value propositions through enhanced data sovereignty and transaction security, better pricing opportunities, reduced demand for FX, enhanced financial access and support of the growth of a robust and inclusive digital economy, amongst others.
The brand unveil of the new Domestic Card Scheme by CBN and NIBSS will be take place on Thursday 26th January at a virtual event that will be graced by critical stakeholders in the financial ecosystem such as the Governor of the CBN, Deputy Governors of the CBN, the Director General Securities and Exchange Commission and Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation. Also expected at the event are representatives of multilateral agencies, Switches and Processors, Payment Service Banks, Mobile Money Operators, Payment Terminal Service Providers, Payment Solutions Service Providers, card manufacturers and industry associations.
The launch of this historic Scheme presents a new dawn in the Nigerian payment ecosystem and unveils the unique opportunities presented by the Nigerian retail landscape. It is indeed the beginning of a new era, charting the future of the payment landscape as the first Domestic Card Scheme to be launched on the African continent.
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