A groundbreaking of what is expected to be Africa’s largest food and logistics park has occurred in Ketu-Ereyun, Epe, Lagos.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who performed the ceremony, said the State Central Food and Security Systems and Logistics Hub would create more than seven thousand jobs and solve the food problem of over five million people.
Sited on one point two million square metres of land, the Lagos State Central Food Security Systems and Logistics Hub in Ketu-Ereyun, Epe, will connect farmers in Lagos, the South West and other parts of the country to a direct market to sell their produce at an agreed price.
The food and logistics hub, a private sector-driven project, will have dry and cold storage facilities, administrative offices, trading, packaging, and processing facilities, a trailer park, a water treatment plant, fuel and fire stations, and an abattoir.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the food and logistics park was to leverage Lagos State’s comparative advantage in the agricultural value chain.
He explained that “the Hub will provide a better buying experience for consumers; help achieve a reduction in logistics costs, while guaranteeing the standardization of quantity and quality for agricultural products.
I can boldly say that this is one of the most important agricultural interventions that Nigeria has ever seen. The fact that it is taking place in Lagos, the most populous and fastest growing subnational entity in the country, means that it is bound to have significant national, regional, and continental impact.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the food security systems and logistics hub would drive infrastructural development in Epe as it would welcome more people and economic opportunities.
He assured investors and residents that the food and logistics park was well-thought-out and would not be a white elephant project.
“You all stand to benefit greatly from having this Hub here. The entire Epe Division will immediately enjoy the dividends, starting from this construction phase of the project. There will be many jobs for you, as well as various opportunities to supply construction materials. And when the project is up and running, it will attract complementary development: housing estates, financial institutions, business enterprises, and other ancillary services. This will indeed change the face of Ketu-Ereyun community and advance the development of the Epe Division,” said the governor.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, said recent global events, including climate change and the war in Ukraine, had revealed the vulnerability of food security systems.
Ms Olusanya said the food security systems and logistics hub was a bold step to tackle food wastage high cost of food and also ensure that farmers had a ready market for their produce.
“Upon completion, the Food Security Systems & Central Logistics Hub will unleash the huge potential in both the midstream and downstream sectors of the agricultural and foods sector. This project will further reaffirm the State as the preferred market destination for Agricultural produce along the West African corridor,” said the Commissioner.
The project manager, Prince SJ Samuel, said the hub would have a capacity for ninety-day food storage for five million people and would reduce the cost of food by twenty-five per cent.
At nearby Ketu-Ejinrin, Governor Sanwo-Olu also inspected the progress of work at the state Psychiatric Hospital before inspecting the construction of the administrative block at the State University of Science and Technology Ikorodu-Itokin Road.
He said the projects would be completed on schedule.