This was made known by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture and Rice Mill Initiative, Dr. Oluwarotimi Fashola, during the signing of an agreement with the Lagos Commodities and Future Exchange.
The Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Nike Sodipo, in a statement, said the signing ceremony, held at Alausa, makes Lagos State the first sub-national to move from infrastructure finance through the capital market to commodities finance, with the objective of becoming the major hub for commodities trading for agricultural products in Africa.
The statement was quoted as describing Eko Rice as the best in Nigeria today, adding that the Imota rice mill had come to challenge the status quo with regard to the quality of rice, hence the need to ensure a seamless flow of raw materials to make the mill function optimally.
N100 billion required for rice paddy for Imota Rice Mill
Fashola stated, “If we do not have rice paddy which is our major raw material, then the entire equipment and infrastructure that we have in Imota will be useless. This partnership, therefore, is about how to sustain the continuous flow of paddy into Imota.
“Imota mill will be requiring over 200,000 tonnes of paddy annually. It is not cheap. In Nigeria as of today, that is going into almost N100bn, and N100bn of taxpayers’ money being taken from the government will not be the easiest to do in any financial year but with the partnership with Commodities Exchange, we can maintain the flow of paddy to the mill.
‘’The mill continues to run, we have a comparative advantage of having a good price and at the same time, the finished rice becomes available in the market.
“The Eko rice is already in the system and the good thing is that this partnership will create direct access to it for everyone and also ensure sustainability. The rice was used by Mr Governor for palliative and by the end of this month, the commercial sale of Eko Rice will hit the market. What we are doing is laying a foundation that subsequent administrations can work on and leverage. So, this partnership is a win-win for everybody.’’
Speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director of Lagos Commodities and Future Exchange, Mr Akinsola Akeredolu-Ale, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for not only seeing the need to bridge the rice needs of the nation but understanding the critical role of the capital market.
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He said, “At the Commodities Exchange, we understand the need to deepen the capital market and the commodities ecosystem concurrently. The capital market plays a critical role in providing sustainable finance to the ecosystem through the generation of tradeable financial instruments.”
The Lagos Rice Mill, Imota is a two x 16 metric tonnes per-hour mill standing on an area of 8.5 hectares of land.
Governor Sanwo-Olu had described the Eko Rice from the just commissioned Lagos Rice Mill in Imota as the best in town.
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