Lagos residents consume N4.5 billion meals a day: Sanwo-Olu

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state says that residents of the state consume about 4.5 billion naira worth of food a day, just as it reiterated its commitment to food security.

Mr. Sanwo-Olu said this at the opening ceremony of a two-day zonal sensitization workshop themed: “Implementing Food Systems Transformation Pathways in Nigeria 2022” on Monday in Lagos.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the workshop was organized by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and the Lagos Ministry of Economy, Planning and Budget.

NAN reports that Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Ekiti participate with Lagos as the coordinating state for the Southwest geopolitical zone.

The governor, represented by Sam Egube, Commissioner for the Economy, Planning and Budget, said the state had decided to take the bull by the horns to ensure food security for people with different agricultural and food value chains.

According to him, Lagos has a rich history of economic growth and transformation.

“Even though it covers only 0.4 percent of Nigeria’s land mass, making it the smallest in the country.

“It represents more than 60 percent of industrial and commercial activities. Lagos is a coastal state and has extremely limited arable land space and is home to around 21 million people.

“Its residents consume around 4.5 billion naira worth of food per day and 50 per cent of the beef produced in the country, which translates into several billion in other commercial activities with markets spanning all areas of the country. local state government,” he said.

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He called for joint collaboration between the Southwest geopolitical zone to implement the Food Systems Transformation Pathways 2022.

Mr. Sanwo-Olu added that improving food systems would influence positive changes and also address the multiple challenges that the country is experiencing.

He said the state’s agricultural roadmap was a deliberate effort to develop the agricultural sector through public and private sector interventions, and international technical and donor organizations.

“I am aware that the basis of this workshop is the need for the states of the six geopolitical zones to be adequately aware of the implementation of the National Routes for the Transformation of Food Systems.

“I am very pleased to note that Lagos State was selected to host the geopolitical awareness of the South West, which I see as recognition of the positive impacts our policies and efforts are having on the agricultural sector.

“As a state government, we will continue to provide infrastructure and incentives to support all private sector initiatives where needed.

“History has shown that any society that cannot provide food security, its security is exposed to abuse and the greatest danger,” he said.

The governor praised the efforts of the Federal Government to ensure that the food systems summit is held in conjunction with the United Nations.

“I assure you that the Lagos State Government is fully committed to achieving a food secure Lagos and Nigeria through partnership with all national and sub-national entities as well as the private sector and international donor and technical organizations” .

He urged all workshop participants to show commitment by sharing ideas and opinions on the selected programs scheduled to kick-start implementation.

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Mathias Schmale, United Nations Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator, commended the Federal Government for its constant efforts towards sustainable food systems in the country.

Mr. Schmale, who was represented by Isiaka Ibrahim, UN Coordinator in Lagos, reiterated that the UN will continue to work with the government and will also strengthen collaboration with all stakeholders in support of this transformational journey.

“Today marks another important step in the long-awaited transformational change that we have worked for in partnership.

“The Zonal Awareness Workshop is designed to engage all of us as we begin to build synergy across states and regions.

“The momentum with which the Federal Government is accelerating the transformation pathways of national food systems is highly commendable.

“Today, the government has identified three critical priority actions that need to be addressed at all levels to achieve food security and reduce malnutrition among the most vulnerable and at-risk populations in Nigeria.

“They are to achieve a sustainable food system that works for everyone; to ensure the achievement of all the SDGs in the next decade”.

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Olusola Idowu, National Coordinator/Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said that an implementation team made up of key stakeholders had been formed to develop an implementation plan.

Ms. Idowu noted that the workshop provides an opportunity to present and discuss the identified priority actions selected for implementation from January 2022.

He added that it would help define and assign roles and responsibilities for the effective implementation of priority actions.

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Ms. Idowu noted that the workshop was held in all six geopolitical zones simultaneously from July 4 to 8, focusing on three ripe fruit programs and 80 priority actions.

“Please, I make this impassioned call for all of us to make sure that this stage of implementation is truly for implementation.

“Where we talk less and act more so we can impact the lives of Nigerians,” he said.

Furthermore, Abisola Olusanya, Lagos State Agriculture Commissioner, said that food systems remain an important part of the national economy.

Ms. Olusanya said that an effective food system had contributed to a variety of solutions to development challenges.

He said that there have been dialogues between all relevant stakeholders in the six geopolitical zones of the country since 2021, which gave rise to the National Pathways for Sustainable Food Systems. (YAYA)

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