Lagos calls for private sector collaboration in meat, fish value chains

The Lagos State Government has called for private sector investment and collaboration in its agriculture sector, particularly in the Red Meat Value Chain, Artisanal Fisheries and Livestock Feed Mills.

The Lagos State Government has called for private sector investment and collaboration in its agriculture sector, particularly in the Red Meat Value Chain, Artisanal Fisheries and Livestock Feed Mills.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, who made the call in Lagos over the weekend, explained that this is in line with the State Government’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap.

She noted that the State Government has identified many areas of investment opportunities for the private sector participants, particularly in the three value chains, hence the need for collaboration.

According to her, this partnership would increase production in the value chains, stimulate jobs across the value chains, standardise operations in the value chains as well as enhance the GDP of the State.

In her words: “In line with the State’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap, where it has identified many areas of investment opportunities for the private sector participants, Lagos State is set to explore private sector collaboration in its agriculture sector, particularly the Red Meat Value Chain, Artisanal Fisheries, as well as Livestock Feed Mills for possible partnerships with private investors and entrepreneurs with the objective to stimulate and encourage more public-private partnerships in the three value chains”.

“We are the largest market Sub-Saharan Africa has. With over 22 million in terms of population, we consume food well worth over N5tn annually and over N8bn on a monthly basis. What the administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is focused on is in terms of enforcing a market structure or bringing together a market structure that ensures a transformation in the food system; an Expression of Interest advertisement would be rolled out from next week calling on interested investors”, the Commissioner noted.

She stated that in the red meat sector, the State consumes over 6,000 herds of cattle daily and over 1.8 million herds of cattle annually, which is 50% of the red meat consumed in Nigeria as a whole, adding that there exists a lot of opportunities to be tapped into in the red meat sector.

Olusanya pointed out that possible areas of collaboration in the red meat value chain are animal identification and traceability, the establishment of feedlot and fattening centres, creation of a better logistics solution system, as well as the creation of a better system of running abattoirs in a standard way to meet up with global best practices such that more hygienic slaughtering areas are the norms rather than the exceptions.

Other areas of possible collaboration, according to her, include setting up standardised meat shops, proper management of animal waste, biogas production and transportation of the meat to the final consumers in a wholesome and hygienic way and condition.

The Commissioner described the transactional value for cattle alone in Lagos to be worth over N328bn, adding that when the red meat transformation agenda comes fully into play, it would help the State Government eliminate logistics costs of transporting cattle.

She stated further that Lagos is working on harnessing sectors where it has comparative advantage to further grow its economy with emphasis on the artisanal fisheries sector.

Olusanya noted that a lot more had to be done around the livestock sector as well, to draw in more private sector participants who can play on a commercial scale and ensure that with regards to sustainability, Lagos is more food secure.

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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.