Sanwo-Olu Unveils Five-year Food Sufficiency Road Map For Lagos
An audacious agricultural growth plan that will enhance food sufficiency in Lagos State has been unveiled by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.T
The five-year food security road map will see a sustained public and private sectors’ investment in agricultural value chains to give Lagos comparative advantages in the sector and enhance the state’s self-sufficiency in food production from the current 18 per cent up to 40 per cent over the next 60 months.S
Sanwo-Oluon Thursday at a ceremony organised by the Ministry of Agriculture at the Intercontinental Hotels, Victoria Island, rolled out the agric road map which will be achieved through a three-pronged approach.
The adverse impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on food security in Lagos, the governor said, necessitated an immediate action towards ensuring food security for residents of the state.
Lagos, the smallest state in Nigeria in terms of land size, relies on massive food importation and mutual collaboration on production with other states to ensure food sustenance for its 22 million population.
Sanwo-Olu said the state could no longer rely exclusively on production alliances with other states, stressing that it was time for Lagos to unlock its agricultural potential by implementing the five-year road map.
The plan, he said, would set players in agricultural sector on the path of wealth generation and value creation, thereby improving food security and industrialisation of agricultural sector, while also entrenching inclusive socio-economic growth.
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He said: “At the inception of this administration, we identified food security as a major policy thrust and a key component of our T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda. The five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Road Map has been designed in line with our agenda to reform, transform and maximise the potential of Lagos’ agricultural sector.
“The focus of the road map is the development of agricultural value chains where Lagos has competitive and comparative advantages to enhance self-sufficiency in food production from 18 per cent to 40 per cent over the next five years, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“To successfully implement the road map, we will take a cue from other economies that have achieved self-sufficiency in food production. We will also aim to put the private sector at the heart of our vision for food security in Lagos State, with government as enabler and catalyst.”
The strategies to achieve the plan, Sanwo-Olu said, will focus on leveraging technology to grow agric’s upstream sector through interventions capable of lowering the cost of production in identified value chains, including fisheries, poultry, piggery, rice, vegetables and coconut.
The governor said there would be deliberate actions to grow the mid-stream and downstream sectors to enhance value chain in processing, handling, storage, cold chain, packaging, utilisation and commercialisation.
He said the state government would link willing private sector players to business-friendly credit facilities and give incentives to improve private participation, while also formulating enabling policies to encourage return on investment.
Sanwo-Olu said: “The projection is that the total investment in the agricultural sector from the government, private sector, donor agencies and development partners will run into over $10 billion in the next five years. While we expect most of the investment to be private sector-driven, government will continue to provide the needed infrastructure while the private sector will be encouraged to lead the key projects.
“We are revamping the Agricultural Land Holding Authority (ALHA) to drive investment into agriculture. We will strengthen the coconut belt with increased private sector involvement. The next five years will be productive, competitive and transformational as Lagos implements this road map, which will make the state to become the nation’s agricultural powerhouse. I invite you to join us to make history.”
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Lagos had entered into a partnership agreement with two key states in the North Central for land availability, urging states in the Southwest to key into the objectives due to their proximity.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, said the development of the road map started with stakeholder’s engagements and workshops around addressing the needs of the agric ecosystem in the state, pointing out that the blueprint provided a market-centric context pertaining to each value chain in Lagos food ecosystem.
She said: “There is great wealth to be mined from the oldest profession on earth (agriculture) if data-driven principles are applied and the right information is made available to the investors.
“I dream of a Lagos where wholesome food is available, where healthy people thrive, where re-organised food system reduces freight congestion, post-harvest losses and increases profits for value chain actors. A Lagos where agriculture will empower millions of people and drive up productivity.”
The Chairman of Chapel Hill Denham Group, Mr. Wale Edun, who analysed the agricultural road map, described the initiative as “laudable”, saying the state government deserved to be supported on the vision.
He said the rollout of the initiative was timely, given the festering insecurity in some parts of the country, which, he said, posed great risk to Lagos food market because of the attendant disruption in the supply chain.
Edun, a former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos, however, urged the government to limit the scope of its investment to infrastructure and environment. Private sector, he said, must be allowed to play a frontline role in the implementation of the road map.
The Commissionerfor Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, said the programme would increase the contribution of agriculture to Lagos GDP from two to five per cent, adding the roadmap would close the gap of wealth inequality.
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BREAKING: I Won’t Resign, Election Free, Fair – INEC Chairman
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the call by the Labour Party (LP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the African Democratic Congress (ADC) for the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to resign.
The commission also said the allegation by Senator Dino Melaye that the INEC chairman allocated scores to political parties during the ongoing collation of 2023 presidential election results, was unfounded and irresponsible.
The three opposition parties had earlier on Tuesday passed a vote of no confidence in the INEC chairman and even called for his resignation.
But, reacting to the call in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said contrary to the insinuations by the political parties, election results emanating from the States of the Federation were free, fair and credible.
He said, “There are laid down procedures for aggrieved parties or candidates to follow when they are dissatisfied about the outcome of an election
“Such procedures do not include calling on the INEC Chairman to resign or for the election to be cancelled.
“To be sure, aggrieved parties are free to approach the courts to ventilate their concerns and wait for the matter to be resolved. Making inciting comments capable of causing violence or unrest is unacceptable.”
He noted that the 2023 general election processes were at their final stages of completion.
“It is only fair for aggrieved parties to allow the conclusion of the process and approach the courts with their evidence to pursue their cases,” he added.
BREAKING: PDP, LP, ADC Demand Fresh Election, Resignation Of INEC Chairman
Following allegations of rigging, three political parties (Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Labour Party, LP, and African Democratic Congress, ADC) on Tuesday demanded a fresh election.
The aggrieved political parties alleged that the February 25 presidential election has been “irretrievably compromised”.
According to them, the refusal of the INEC chairman to respect the upload of results electronically as stipulated by Section 60 of the Electoral Act 2022 is unacceptable.
LP National Chairman, Julius Abure; the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; as well as their ADC counterpart, Ralph Nwosu, made this known at a joint press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
They alleged that Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections were manipulated by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at polling units by their failure to upload results electronically on the commission’s Results Viewing Portal (IReV).
Abure, who spoke on behalf of the LP, PDP and the ADC, said, “This election is not free and far from being fair”, adding that there are “ongoing cancellation of results from areas of strength of the opposition parties”.
They declared a vote of no confidence in INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and asked him to immediately step aside for an unbiased person to take over and conduct a fresh election.
The LP, PDP and ADC said the deliberate refusal of the INEC chairman to respect the upload of results electronically as stipulated by Section 60 of the Electoral Act 2022 is unacceptable.
The three parties said the result so far by INEC showed “monumental disparities” between what the party agents signed and what INEC officials announced in Abuja.
They said the manual transmission of results compromised the integrity of the election process.
Also, Ayu said the INEC should not turn himself to a “dictator” and demanded that he step aside for another person to take over.
The agents of the PDP and the LP stormed out of the National Collation Centre for the presidential election results at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on Monday.
A member of the 8th National Assembly from Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye; and a former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha; an agent of the Labour Party, amongst others staged a walkout on the INEC chairman over dissatisfaction on the process of the collation of results from state collation officers for the presidential election (SCOPs).
The drama ensued around 4:30pm on Monday at the resumed collation exercise of the February 25 presidential election results for the second day.
Melaye, Ihedioha, as well as the agents of the Labour Party and others, had complained that the results presented by INEC SCOPs weren’t uploaded on IReV as repeatedly promised by the electoral umpire before the February 25 presidential poll.
Melaye argued strongly that without the upload of results electronically on IReV, this year’s election was not in any way different from the manual transmission of results done in 2015.
Oyetola’s Victory Threatened As INEC Opens Up On Osun Guber Poll
The victory of Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal is being threatened with fresh revelations by a former Director of Voter Education and Publicity of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi..
READ ALSO:Tribunal Sacks Adeleke, Declares Oyetola Osun Governor
Thetribunal judgment sacked Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the 2022 governorship election in the state.
The tribunal had on Friday ruled and nullified the election of Adeleke and directed INEC to withdraw his certificate of return and issue a new one to Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress.
READ ALSO:Oyetola Left Behind Over N40b Debts – Adeleke
But during an appearance on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Osaze-Uzzi said the discrepancy in the 2022 Osun State governorship election, as it related to the BVAS, was owing to the fact that the APC obtained an incomplete report upon which the judgement was based.
“The second member [of the tribunal] – the Honourable Justice who dissented from his two colleagues – said, ‘I would rather use the primary source of this information, and the primary source of this data is actually the machine itself.
“lt is basically a computer. So, rather than go to the server where it transmitted data, I would use the printout from the machine itself,” he said.
He added: “The machines were tendered, so were the reports from the server, and there ought not to have been a discrepancy, but somewhere along the line, not all the data had been transmitted at the time the APC obtained the certified copy of the initial server report.”
“It was BVAS that exposed that as it were, and the fact that the BVAS report was relied on. But we have to be careful; which of the BVAS reports was relied on? Was it what was transmitted to the server – to the backend – or was it the BVAS itself?”, he further stated.e
He said there was a need to break the verdict of the tribunal, adding that the majority of the tribunal members – “the chairman and the second member” – relied on the initial report and the initial report of the backend, duly certified by INEC.
Osaze-Uzzi explained that the APC obtained a certified copy of the initial server report while the remaining data was transmitted by the BVAS hardware.
“It was downloaded from the server [after it was] transmitted. But a couple of days later – INEC used the word ‘synchronised’, I’m not too sure I like that word, but – you synchronise it and say, ‘Have all the results been transmitted – has all data been transmitted from the machine, BVAS itself, to the server?’
“The machine is a physical one and then it transmits to a physical one. It now went, checked and said, ‘There’s a problem here.’ The BVAS report now downloaded itself, [we] now brought it out and examined each BVAS machine and now found out that no, some data was not transmitted to the server,” the ex-INEC director said.
Osaze-Uzzi, however, encouraged stakeholders to be optimistic about the use of BVAS as it exposed the over-voting in the election as ruled by the tribunal, describing the judgement as a validation of the role BVAS has played in enhancing the electoral process.
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