Lagos, Kebbi Sign MoU to Meet 70% of Nigeria’s Rice Needs

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The Lagos and Kebbi State Governments, on Wednesday, March 23, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which they said would see to  the production of 70 per cent of Nigeria’s ricerequirements yearly.

The agreement was sealed at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos wednesday by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, and his Kebbi State counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, along with representatives of the two governments.

The signing 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, 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.

Before signing the agreement, Bagudu unequivocally disclosed that the goal of Lagos-Kebbi partnership on food production was “to produce 60 to 70 per cent of Nigeria’s rice needs, and replicate same in other food items.”

He therefore explained that in the world of genetically modified food, the partnership between Lagos and Kebbi States was an additional motivation to provide certainties for the people in terms of food production and sufficiency.

Bagudu noted that both states “have had a long history of trade, and that the signing of the MoU was another way of cementing the relationship with the view to making the people get richer. Lagos is the most entrepreneurial part of Nigeria.

“Lagos, if it were a country itself, is a country that other states will be going to establish a relationship with, and so why not state to state. So, what we are doing is to pioneer a collaboration that will bring other states on board later as we believe that our potentials are enormous, and we must have pacesetters to start that process of joint collaboration for our collective good.”

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.”

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