Lagos Govt. revs up Agriculture with APPEALS Projects

The Lagos State Government has declared that no fewer than 879 farmers and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across poultry, aquaculture and rice value chains have directly benefited from the Lagos Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in the last three years.
…As 879 Farmers, Small Businesses Receive Funding, Others
Lagos Govt. revs up Agriculture with APPEALS Projects

The Lagos State Government has declared that no fewer than 879 farmers and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across poultry, aquaculture and rice value chains have directly benefited from the Lagos Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in the last three years.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, who made this known at the Pre-6th Implementation Support Mission of the Project held at Orchid Hotels, Lekki, explained that the beneficiaries were empowered with physical inputs and equipment to help them improve their productivity in the respective value chains.

Olusanya, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, noted that another set of 3,516 stakeholders in the agricultural sector also benefitted indirectly from the APPEALS Project, while over 8,000 farmers received training and tutorials with strong evidence of a positive resultant effect on the output of these stakeholders and farmers.

According to her, the State Steering Committee and State Technical Committee have been performing their oversight functions in ensuring that the Project implementation remains on course, adding that the Project’s stakeholders have expressed satisfaction with the level of interventions.

Olusanya also disclosed that the State Government is providing maximum support to the Project by ensuring that the contributions of these value chains to food security, local production, improvement of livelihood, as well as the creation of an export market, are sustained by Government through its T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda while also exploring and investing in the use of innovation and technology to create competitive advantage.

She gave an assurance that the State would come up with a conducive regulatory framework and a business-friendly environment, through commercial support for the key economic sectors, especially agriculture, stating that the government would always contribute its quota to all donor/World Bank Assisted Projects and ensure regular payments of its counterpart contributions.

Imploring the Support Mission’s Team to look critically at ways of removing all bottlenecks associated with the implementation of APPEALS project, Olusanya observed the need to prevent the looming food crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and other security challenges in the country.

Speaking earlier, the National Project Coordinator for the APPEALS Project, Mr. Mohammed Jobdi explained that the essence of the Pre-6th Implementation Support Mission was to critique and assess the work done so far in terms of projects implemented, farmers trained, empowered and many other issues before the actual meetings with the World Bank and other stakeholders.

Jobdi stated that the Mission was flagged off to appraise activities in the fields, take stock of progress made and review the implementation process to determine the present situation and project for the years ahead.

Lagos State Coordinator for the APPEALS Project, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo appreciated the State Government for its unwavering support and commitment to the Project.

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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.