The Lagos state government says it will commence the sale of its Eko Rice from the Imota Mill by the end of April.
Oluwarotimi Fashola, the special adviser to the governor on Agriculture and Rice Mill initiative, made this known at the contract signing with the Lagos Commodities and Future Exchange (LCFE).
Describing the Eko Rice as the best in Nigeria today, Fashola said the Lagos rice mill in Imota has come to challenge the status quo with regard to the quality of rice and that there was a need to ensure the ceaseless flow of raw material to make it function optimally.
“If we do not have rice paddy which is our major raw material, then the entire equipment and infrastructure that we have in Imota will be useless.
“This partnership, therefore, is about how to sustain the continuous flow of paddy into Imota,” he said. He added that the Imota mill will require over 200,000 tonnes of paddy annually.
“In Nigeria as of today, that is going into almost N100 billion, and N100billion of taxpayers’ money being taken from the government will not be the easiest to do in any financial year but with the partnership with Commodities Exchange, we can maintain the flow of paddy to the mill.”
“The mill continues to run, we have a comparative advantage of having a good price and at the same time, the finished rice becomes available in the market.”
He said Eko rice is already in the system, noting that the partnership will create direct access to it for everyone and also ensure sustainability.
“The rice was used by Mr. Governor as palliative, and by the end of this month, the commercial sale of Eko Rice will hit the market. What we are doing is laying a foundation that subsequent administrations can work on and leverage. So, this partnership is a win-win for everybody,” Fashola said.
Earlier, Akinsola Akeredolu-Ale, LCFE’s MD, commended governor Sanwo-Olu for not only seeing the need to bridge the rice needs of the nation but understanding the critical role of the capital market.
“At the commodities exchange, we understand the need to deepen the capital market and the commodities ecosystem concurrently. The Capital Market plays a critical role in providing sustainable finance to the ecosystem through the generation of tradable financial instruments.”
The signing ceremony, held at Alausa, makes Lagos the first sub-national to switch from infrastructure finance through the capital market to commodities finance, with the aim of becoming the major hub for commodities trading for agricultural products in Africa, according to a statement by Nike Sodipo, director of public affairs, Ministry of Agriculture.