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Lagos and Kebbi State Governments have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which they said would culminate in the production of 70 per cent of Nigeria’s rice requirements annually.
The state governments also explained the genesis of the agreement, ascribing it to the policy thrust of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to diversify the country’s economy and feed its citizens.
Governors of Lagos and Kebbi state Akinwunmi Ambode and Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, as well as government representatives, met at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos to ratify the agreement.
The ratification of the MoU was witnessed by members of the State Executive Council from the two states, representatives of the two Houses of Assembly, leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC), traditional rulers, and community leaders among others
The agreement, which principally centres on boosting the production of wheat, ground nut, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, cows among others, was the first state-to-state relations in the country.
Giving an insight into the signing of the agreement, Ambode acknowledged that the ceremony was to formalise an agreement between Lagos and Kebbi States “to enter into a partnership for food processing, production and distribution.”
Also, Ambode pointed out that Lagos State “is the largest consumer of food commodities in the country by virtue of its large population. The state has the market, with the required purchasing power. The state has an estimated consumption of over 798,000 metric tons of milled rice per year which is equivalent to 15.96 million of 50 kilogramme bags with a value of N135 billion per annum.
“We have the economic prowess to produce rice locally. The era of imported rice is gone. The reality is for all of us to embrace the consumption of local food and commodities. In addition to rice, the state is presently consuming 6,000 herds of cattle daily which may increase to 8,000 in the next five years.

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