Food Security: Sanwo-olu Flags Off Construction Of Biggest Logistics Hub In Epe

FOOD SECURITY: SANWO-OLU FLAGS OFF CONSTRUCTION OF BIGGEST LOGISTICS HUB IN EPE: Lagos Reducing Vulnerability to Food Shortages’ - Agric Commissioner...

Lagos State has flagged off the construction of what will be the largest Food Security Systems and Central Logistics Park in sub-Saharan Africa. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, performed the sod turning at the site of the facility being built on 1.2 million square meters of land in Ketu-Ereyun, Epe.

The establishment of the food park is a component of an audacious five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Road Map (2021–2025) launched last year by the Sanwo-Olu administration to enhance food sufficiency in Lagos. When completed, the central food and logistics hub is expected to create direct wealth for more than five million traders in the agricultural value chain while guaranteeing uninterrupted food supplies to more than 10 million Lagosians for at least 90 days in a period of scarcity.

The hub will have storage facilities for more than 1,500 trucks that will daily service the needs of thousands of operators within the food value chain throughout the year, while large commercial transactions will be processed in the facility. Besides, Sanwo-Olu visited the site of the State-owned Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital in Ketu-Ereyun, where the Governor inspected the level of construction work on the project.

Transactions on food items in Lagos are estimated to be N5 trillion yearly, just as farmers daily lose 40 percent of products worth millions due to a lack of a post-harvest storage system. Sanwo-Olu said the central food hub would guarantee greater returns for farmers and investors in the agro-allied sector, as the facility would cut out several layers of middlemen and facilitate improved access to modern processing and packaging services.

"This hub will provide a better buying experience for consumers and help achieve a reduction in logistics costs while guaranteeing the standardization of quantity and quality for agricultural products. It also will improve productivity and guarantee greater returns for farmers by cutting out several layers of middlemen. It will facilitate improved access to modern processing and packaging services for farmers and generate useful data for the use of government agencies, private sector players, and multilateral agencies."

Sanwo-Olu said the choice of the location for the project was strategic, given its easy access and proximity to agrarian settlements. He said the State had secured a well-thought-out funding scheme to kick off the project, which he promised would be delivered in the last quarter of 2024. Lagos's agricultural road map, the Governor said, sought to take full advantage of all value chains in which the State has competitive and comparative advantages, with a view to scaling up self-sufficiency in food production from 18 to 40 percent.

The Governor said the hub, when completed, would add to the catalog of life-changing projects sited within the Epe Division, which include 32-metric tons per hour Rice Mill in Imota, Agbowa-Ikosi Timberville, and Ketu-Ereyun Psychiatric Hospital, among others. "The development of this all-important Central Logistics Hub will be achieved through a collaboration between the State Government and the private sector and will be implemented through a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-and-Transfer model. At every step of the way, we will be counting on the contributions of the private sector, in terms of financing and technical advisory and support," Sanwo-Olu said.

The hub will be operated on an off-grid power source of 900 megawatts and is expected to provide 16,000 direct jobs. Amenities that will come to the facility include aggregation facilities, administrative offices, a trading area, packaging facilities, processing facilities, cold chain/dry goods services, and logistics services. Others are trailer parks, water treatment plants, health centers, fuel stations, fire stations, abattoirs, and lairage.

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