Gbolahan Lawal, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, has assured that the state government-owned Integrated Rice Mill at Imota area of the state, would be completed within the next seven months.
Lawal, who disclosed this on Thursday during a facility tour of the rice mill to assess the progress of work done, expressed satisfaction with the work done so far.
He added that the Imota Rice Mill, upon completion, would not only ensure that people eat nutritious rice but would also create jobs and wealth for the people as well as enhance the supply value chain.
While noting that the 32 metric-tonnes capacity mill was the biggest in Nigeria and West Africa, he recalled that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had, during the electioneering campaign, promised to continue with projects left by his predecessor, adding that the visit of the governor to the facility as soon as he assumed office was a demonstration and commitment of the state government to the completion of the project.
Lawal pointed out that even though the mill should be able to cater for the rice needs of a substantial percentage of Lagosians, it was a far cry from the rice needs of the people.
He attributed his position to the fact that the rice consumption rate of an average person in this part of the world hovers between 32 and 40 kilograms, thus necessitating the state government’s collaboration with the South West and the Northern states as well as the Rice Farmers Association (REFAN) for the acquisition of rice paddy.
While reiterating the commitment of the state government to put effect to the Federal Government policy on rice importation, the commissioner explained that the state government is already in discussion with other states who have promised to make available about 72,000 hectares of land in their states for rice cultivation.