[The Lagos and Kebbi State Governments have entered into an alliance in agriculture which was sealed with a signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) this week. Both states have said jointly that the MoU would culminate in the production of 70 per cent of Nigeria’s rice requirements annually.
The agreement, which principally centres on boosting the production of wheat, ground nut, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, cows among others, was the first state-to-state relations in the country. Read more…]
While this is a most exciting development, it is also one which has been too long coming, and really should have happened first between Lagos State and Osun state. Given the dire state of financial affairs in Osun, and the deep long-standing relationship between both states, a similar alliance in agriculture to the one with Kebbi State must now be considered.
Lagos state simply does not have the required land area to feed its teeming population, while Osun state, which has large expanses of arable land does not have the means to fully exploit its potential in agriculture for now.
An alliance in agriculture between Lagos State and Osun State presents a win-win scenario not only for both states, but for the entire South West region and even the country as a whole.
In truth, Lagos state can afford to enter into strategic alliances with several of the nearby States including Oyo State and most importantly, Ogun State for the production of several agricultural products. The state may then choose to process some of the produce in Lagos in order to better manage the value chain and oversee its investments from close range.
Also, by bringing a significant portion of post harvest processing to Lagos, the state government will create jobs for its citizens and therefore increase its return on investment. The multiplier effect of such a decision can spur the growth of a new crop of entrepreneurs in the agricultural processing sub sector in the state.
However, the agreement between Lagos State and Kebbi state must be commended as it represents a major milestone in the drive towards food security and self sufficiency in the country.
Hopefully, Lagos state will be able to enter into other alliances especially with nearby States like Osun as mentioned, which will have the added advantage of reduced transport and logistics costs for the investing parties.