The Lagos State Government on Wednesday restated its commitment to harness public and private investment through private sector partnership to facilitate food security in the state.
This government made the assertion in a statement by the Assistant Director of Public Relations, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Tunbosun Ogunbanwo.
The statement said the Special Adviser to state governor on Food Security, Mr Sanni Okanlawon, made the assertion when he visited the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
It said public and private sector partnership was an important drive to create a mixed sector economy for job creation and the base for expanding social services and environmental sustainability.
“In spite of the global climate change which constitutes challenge to food security, the state government will leave no stone unturned to address these challenges, promote food security and encourage investment in agriculture.
“The state government is poised to address poverty and guarantee good health by ensuring wholesomeness in the process and distribution of foods that citizens consume.
“It is necessary to monitor the whole process of food handling and distribution until it gets to the final consumers and we are currently proposing setting up Food Marshals Corp.
“This step is in line with the commitment of the present administration to ensure food security and that is part of the reasons why the Food Security office was created,’’ the statement said.
It added that the reason for the visit was for the ministry to extend a handshake to the chamber to attract both foreign and local investors to the sector.
It said the special adviser noted that the effort was for the industry to attract both local and foreign investors to Lagos and ensure quick returns on investment.
“The collaboration will result in a win-win situation for the state, the private sector and all stakeholders in the agriculture sector to guarantee food sufficiency and safety.
“Also, the state government will develop the Coconut value chain; a strategic initiative to develop an expanded structure for Coconut production and processing in through Public Private Partnership arrangement.
“This government is passionate about the issues of food security and investment in the agriculture and incentives such as tax relief will be given.
“It is also to ensure a good business environment for prospective investors in the agriculture sector,’’ it quoted Okanlawon as saying.
It added that the special adviser said that the state government would continue to collaborate with any organisation or individual directly or indirectly contributing to the achievement of food sufficiency and safety.
The statement also said that Dr Nike Akande, President of LCCI, responding noted that the chamber was ready to foster collaboration with the Lagos State Government, especially in the agriculture sector.
It said this was because of the urgent need to address the issues of food security and safety which, she noted, was critical for social stability and security of lives and properties.
“Lack of food security is a major factor in the phenomenon of poverty; LCCI will come up with appropriate framework for sustainable collaboration with the government in investment in agriculture.
“LCCI will continue to promote and protect the interests of its members and the business community at large through public policy advocacy.
“Also, in creation and facilitation of commercial and industrial opportunity, provision of business development and services and observance of highest standard of business ethics,’’ it said.