By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has urged the private sector in agriculture to partner with the state government in other to further exploit opportunities in the sector.
Fashola, who spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja, while receiving the management team of the Stallion Group led by the Managing Director, Mr. Harpreet Singh, who paid him a courtesy visit on Monday, stressed that aside addressing the food security of the state, his administration aimed at opening up the value chain for participation and opportunities in the sector.
He said investment in agriculture was not only about growing food but must now include food processing, packaging, merchandizing and a possible commodities exchange.
The governor, who said his administration had deployed financial resources, time and personnel to agriculture in the last few years, told his guests: ”It is not about growing food alone, it must now be about food processing, about food packaging, about merchandizing and we are looking also at the possibilities of commodities exchange within this area of Nigeria and possibly about mercantile exchange.”
Fashola noted that the Stallion Group which is also into automobile manufacturing and marketing, would be able to supply buses needed to run the 60 kilometre Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route included in the 10-lane Lagos-Badagry Expressway expansion project now under construction.
Earlier, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Harpreet Singh, said the purpose of their visit was to acknowledge the very transformational and visionary leadership of Governor Fashola, pointing out that from all that could be seen across the state, it was clear that the vision of his administration was “to harness resources to offer good life to the people of Lagos”.