By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Lagos State Government has disclosed that its Ministry of Agriculture raked in total sum of N128 million as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the first quarter of 2021, and so far spent N20 billion on its mega Imota Rice Mill, sited in Ikorodu area of the state.
This was revealed by the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Bisola Olusanya, at a ministerial press briefing held to commomerate second year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
The multi-billion naira Imota Rice Mill being constructed by the state government is a 32 metric tonne per hour rice mill and will be the third largest in the world on completion.
When the mill commence operation, it will supply about 2.4 million freshly processed 50 kg bags of rice per annum, in addition to over 250,000 jobs that would be created in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the Rice Value Chain.
Speaking on the scorecard of her ministry in the last two years, Olusanya disclosed that so far 12,575 youths and 19,207 women have been trained and empowered, 18 illegal slaughter slabs shut down, 127 per cent revenue generated in first quarter of year 2021, and 3,900 metric tonnes of feed given to farmers as palliative, among others.
On the Imota Rice Mill, the commissioner said the initial budget for the rice mill was N25 billion, but that with the rise in exchange rate, the figure has gone up.
‘So far, from inception, about N20 billion has been spent on the Imota Rice Mill. The mill is the first of its kind in Nigeria, it is on a class of its own. It is the third largest mill in the world,’ she said.
Olusanya said Lagos was putting everything in place because it wanted to have the best mill in the world.
She added that on completion, the state government would not be getting processed rice from Kebbi, but would rather get paddy rice from the state to be processed at the Imota Rice Mill.
Olusanya also said the COVID-19 pandemic and flooding in the north, especially in Kebbi, affected the distribution of LAKE Rice late 2020 and 2021.
According to her, the state government had not cancelled its partnership with Kebbi State on LAKE Rice.
‘On Lake Rice, the partnership has shifted from processing of rice to shipment of paddy. So that we can beat down prices. Partnership between states should not be tenured, the partnership should be enduring,’ the commissioner added.
The commissioner added that the government had resuscitated food production facilities at Songhai and Araga to increase food production which would produce 100,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.