LASG to partner private sector on food security

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By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.
The Lagos State government has restated its commitment to partner with the private sector to facilitate food security by harnessing Public and Private investment to create a strong, mixed sector economy that can provide jobs for all and create the base for expanding social services and environmental sustainability.
Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Food Security, Mr. Ganiyu Sanni Okanlawon who made this known when he paid a courtesy visit to the President, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Nike Akande noted that agriculture has the highest demonstrated potential for job and wealth creation and it is against this background that the agricultural sector should be one of the key instruments of achieving this laudable dream.
He added that in spite of the global climate change which constitutes challenge to food security, the Lagos State Government will leave no stone unturned to address these challenges, promote food security and encourage investment in agriculture, stressing that this is part of the reasons why his office was created.
In a release by the ministry’s Public Relations Officer, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo made available to newsmen, it said that 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, stressing that this step is in line with commitment of the present administration to ensure food security.
He said it is necessary to monitor the whole process of food handling and distribution until it gets to the final consumers, adding that his office is currently proposing setting up Food Marshals Corp that will be positioned across the state for proper monitoring.
The Special Adviser while explaining the motive behind the courtesy visit stated that his office and the Ministry of Agriculture seek to have a handshake with Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry in order to attract both local and foreign investors to Lagos and ensure quick returns on investment.
He expressed optimism that the collaboration will result in a win-win situation for the State, the private sector and all stakeholders in the agriculture sector in such a way that food sufficiency and safety will be guaranteed.
The Special Adviser noted that State government will develop the Coconut value; a strategic initiatives to develop an expanded structure for Coconut production and processing in the State through Public Private Partnership arrangement as a means of  generating employment, wealth creation and food security.
Okanlawon who reiterated that the Lagos State government is passionate about the issues of food security and investment in the agriculture sector said that the State government will give incentives to such tax relief and ensure conducive business environment for prospective investors in the agriculture sector.
While restating the commitment of the present administration towards the attainment of food security with partnership of every citizen, the Special Adviser stated that the State government will continue to collaborate with any organization or individual directly or indirectly contributing to the achievement of food sufficiency and safety in Lagos State.
Responding the President, LCCI, Mrs Nike Akande said the LCCI is ready to foster collaboration with the Lagos State Government especially in the agriculture sector because of the urgent need to address the issues of food security and safety which she noted is critical for social stability and security of lives and properties.
While noting that lack of food security is major factor in the phenomenon of poverty, Akande stated that the LCCI will come up with appropriate frame work for sustainable collaboration with the Lagos State government in investment in the agriculture sector.
She said the LCCI will continue to promote and protect the interests of its members and the business community at large through public policy advocacy, creation and facilitation of commercial and industrial opportunity, provision of business development and services and observance of highest standard of business ethics.

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