Commissioner visits proposed site for Coconut Husk Processing factory in Badagry

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, on Thursday, led a team from the Ministry on an official visit to the proposed site of the 10,000 MTPA Coconut Husk Processing Factory (Coconut House), Badagry.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, on Thursday, led a team from the Ministry on an official visit to the proposed site of the 10,000 MTPA Coconut Husk Processing Factory (Coconut House), Badagry.

Ms. Olusanya, speaking during the inspection tour of the site, stated that the purpose of the visit was to ensure that the area is ready for the commencement of the project scheduled to begin in April 2021, through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative with P.M.G. Coconut Industry Limited.

The Commissioner explained that the concept behind the proposed establishment of the 10,000 MTPA Coconut Husk Processing Factory is to create wealth and employment opportunities for the teeming population of the State through the utilisation of the coconut husks, presently considered a waste product, in the commercial production of marketable products like coconut coir used in making floor mats, doormats, brushes and mattresses among others.

She, however, directed that the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) should erect a fence round the proposed site to prevent encroachment before the scheduled take-off of the project in the next few months.

On his part, the General Manager of LASCODA, Mr. Dapo Olakulehin, declared the readiness of the Agency for the commencement of the project in collaboration with P.M.G. Coconut Industry Limited, stressing that within the first two years of operation, the factory is expected to generate high income from operations to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State.

While noting that, on completion, the Coconut Husk Factory will provide 260 direct and 3500 indirect employment opportunities for Lagosians, Olakulehin emphasised that the project will substantially enhance the infrastructural development of the host community and improve the livelihood of the residents.

Other members of the Commissioner’s inspection team are: Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Mr. Gbolabo Olanihun, Senior Special Assitant to Mr. Governor on Agriculture, among others.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.