Lagos State has started constructing Africa’s largest Food Security Systems and Central Logistics Park

Lagos State has started constructing Africa’s largest Food Security Systems and Central Logistics Park

Lagos State has begun construction of what would be sub-Saharan Africa’s largest Food Security Systems and Central Logistics Park.

On Wednesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu turned the sod at the site of the facility, which is being built on 1.2 million square metres of ground in Ketu-Ereyun, Epe.

The food park is part of the ambitious five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Road Map (2021–2025) launched by the Sanwo-Olu administration last year to improve food security in Lagos.

When finished, the major food and logistics hub is anticipated to generate direct income for more than five million traders in the agricultural value chain while providing uninterrupted food supply for at least ninety days to more than ten million Lagosians during times of scarcity.

The facility will process big commercial transactions and provide storage for more than 1,500 trucks that will fulfil the needs of tens of thousands of operators in the food value chain on a daily basis throughout the year.

In addition, Governor Sanwo-Olu reviewed the level of construction work at the State-owned Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Ketu-Ereyun.

The annual value of food-related transactions in Lagos is projected to be N5 trillion, yet farmers daily lose 40% of produce worth millions due to the absence of a post-harvest storage infrastructure.

Sanwo-Olu stated that the central food hub would ensure increased returns for farmers and investors in the agro-allied industry, since the facility would eliminate a number of intermediaries and improve access to sophisticated processing and packaging services.

The Governor stated that the facility’s market matrix would enable the government develop meaningful data for public planning and private sector investment projections.

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 stated that the choice of location for the project was significant, considering its proximity to agricultural communities and ease of access. He stated that the state has obtained a well-considered financial plan to launch the project, which he assured would be completed by the fourth quarter of 2024.

The Lagos agricultural road map, according to the governor, aimed to maximise all value chains in which the state has competitive and comparative advantages in order to increase food self-sufficiency from 18 to 40 percent.

The Governor stated that, once completed, the hub will be added to the list of life-changing projects located in Epe Division, which already includes the 32-metric tonnes 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.

Abisola Olusanya, the Commissioner for Agriculture, stated that the current worldwide food shortages were part of the severe impacts of climate change and global warming, which, according to him, had caused economic instability in some nations.

The Commissioner emphasised that a continual disruption in the food delivery sequence might have catastrophic repercussions for the security of the people, and noted that Lagos began the agricultural plan to safeguard its citizens from the effects of food shortages. She stated that the only way forward is to establish resilience that will defend 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, has guaranteed that the first phase of the project, which includes the construction of storage facilities, will be completed within seven months.

The hub will be powered by a 900-megawatt off-grid source and is anticipated to generate 16,000 direct jobs.

There will be aggregation facilities, administrative offices, a trade area, packaging facilities, processing facilities, cold chain/dry goods services, and logistics services at the facility.

Other examples include a trailer park, water treatment facility, health centre, gas station, fire station, abattoir, and lairage.

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