The Lagos State Government on Thursday said that it had subsidised the lake rice brand to the tune of N1 billion since it rolled out in December 2016 till date.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Toyin Suarau, made the disclosure at the 2018 Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate the third year of Governor Akinwumi Ambode, in office.
Suarau said the subsidy included cost of transportation, bagging and difference in cost of production, which had helped to checkmate the ever increasing cost of rice.
The commissioner said that the state spent a total of N4.5 billion on the purchase of lake rice.
“In the last one year, the affordability of Lake rice has no doubt been good timing to Lagosians. The product is sold at a highly subsidised rate of N12,000 per 50kg bag.
“The state spent a total ofN4, 623,116,000 on the purchase of Lake rice and has subsidised the product to the tune of N1,040,395.00 from December till date.
“The subsidy includes cost of transportation, bagging and difference in cost of production of rice which has helped to reduce the price skyrocketing of the commodity,’’ he said.
Suarau said that currently over 150 marketers and other ancillary service providers had been empowered through the sale of the product.
The commissioner also revealed that the state was in completing the process of establishing a 32 tonnes per hour rice mill at Imota, projected to produce 2.6 million 50kg bags of rice.
He said: “The state just signed an agreement with the Buhler AG, a leading rice mill manufacturer in the world for acquisition of the equipment.
“It is projected that when completed, the mill will produce an estimated 130 million kilogrammes of processed rice per year, which is 2.6 million 50kg bags of rice.
“The mill will require the cultivation of 32,000 hectares of land for paddy supply which will provide a platform for the state to partner with other South-West states in rice cultivation,’’ he said.
Our correspondent reports that the ministerial briefing was organised by the state ministry of Information to commemorate Gov. Akinwumi Ambode-led administration’s three years in office.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan said that the state was determined to ensure Lagosians were well fed.
Bamigbetan said: “The importance of food cannot be over emphasised.
“Governor Ambode has recognised this fact and that without securing where food comes from, the populace will not be safe.
“That is why the office of the Special Adviser on Food Security headed by Mr Sanni Okanlawan was established.
“This administration wants to ensure that the man on the streets of Lagos is well fed.’’