Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday
said the Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) recently signed with Kebbi State on
agricultural commodity value
chain was in line with the agenda of the Federal
Government to diversify the economy, just as he said the pact would go a long way in ensuring food security and job
opportunities for the people.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Government House in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State during his
official visit to the State as part of
further steps to cement the
agricultural partnership, said he
was totally committed to the
success of the relationship as it
would not only boost the economy of the two states but
would increase Nigeria’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP).
He said the two states, with the
agreement, which is the first state-to-state relations in the
country, have shown leadership, and expressed optimism that other states would soon take a cue from the relationship.
The Governor, who was given a heroic reception from Birnin
Kebbi International Airport down to the Government House, said the partnership was in continuation of the relationship
which had always existed between the two states in term
of politics, population and strength.
He said: “This relationship is
visionary and it is also a pointer to the fact that the two states have decided to openly support
the vision of Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The change mantra which President Buhari has been
preaching is what this whole
relationship is all about that we
must look inward.
We must start to reintegrate our economy in such a manner that we must not continue to import what we can
produce and we must create a value chain where we have
comparative advantage to do so.
“Kebbi is one of the major producers of most agricultural
products in Nigeria, whereas Lagos State is the major
consumer of most of these products and we have the
market and the population to take on everything that is being produced and that is why the
value chain in which we have tried to embellish is very
important to the two states. And so we are committed to doing
this for Mr. President.
“This visitation is a continuation of where we started from. We want to take the next steps and we know that the next steps are
steps in the right direction,” the
He added that beyond
collaboration on rice production, the Lagos State Government has
also decided to create value chain on every other agricultural
products from Kebbi State first to the people, which would in turn create jobs for the people and make the economy of Nigeria to become more vibrant thereby
increasing the GDP.
On his part, Kebbi State Governor,
Alhaji Atiku Bagudu described the MoU as an innovative
partnership that would lead the
way positively for Nigeria.
He said years of policy distortion
had demoralize local producers of rice and other agricultural
products from competing with their foreign counterparts, which had in turn affected the economy
of Nigeria negatively, but expressed optimism that the
partnership between Lagos and Kebbi States will right the
wrongs of the past.
He said: “I am glad that we are on track to address such issues and empower our producers to
compete globally. Apart from the fact that the collaboration will bring about significant economic
growth and create opportunities, it will also bring our people much closer.
“We are particularly happy that the partnership enjoys massive public support. The President, at different occasions, has publicly commended what we are doing
and that is enough motivation for us to push forward with the agreement” Governor Bagudu
The MoU principally centres on boosting the production of rice, wheat, ground nut, maize, millet,
sorghum, sugar cane, cows, among others.
There is also arrangement with a
Mexican firm, San Carlos Group to
expand the Rice Mill at Imota in Lagos from production capacity of 2.5 metric tonnes per hour to
22.5 metric tonnes per hour with the active participation of the private sector.
Governor Ambode, as part of the official visit, also paid courtesy visits to the Emir of Gwandu,
Alhaji Mohammed Iliya Bashar and the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Meira.
He also inspected the Labana Rice Mill in Kebbi which has the
production capacity of 16 metric tonnes per hour and the FADAMA Project Site I Argungu