In a strategic move to revolutionize Agriculture, especially, food production, the Lagos State Government is set to raise $2 Billion by floating Agricultural Commodities Notes in private sector partnership with the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) to guarantee food security.
As preparatory to achieving the objectives of the Agricultural Roadmap, some top officials of the State Government have held stakeholder engagements with the Management of LCFE, the second time in the series.
Addressing the stakeholders at the Commodities Exchange, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon Abisola Olusanya explained that the State had determined to end food scarcity by transforming Agriculture through capital injection.
According to her, a large expanse of land had been developed to create central logistics as hubs in the key locations of the State.
To catalyze its 5-year Agricultural Road map, “Lagos State is prepared to raise $2 Billion from private sector participation in partnership with the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange by floating Commodity Notes. The State has strong capacity to raise medium and long-term funds to execute developmental projects. It had raised huge amounts from the financial market over the years without default. The Government is fully committed towards total transformation of Agriculture in order to boost food production. We shall place premium on capacity building among others to drive our agricultural revolution.”, says Olusanya.
Corroborating her, the State’s Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo noted that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had re-affirmed his administration’s commitment towards Agricultural Commodities. Olowo lamented the poor contribution of Agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product of Lagos State and the need to reverse the trend.
“We have a new Road Map to transform Agriculture. We need to raise funds for this at the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange. The contribution of Agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Lagos State is less than 2 percent. This is not heartwarming and we have to change the narrative. The good thing is that payback of the money we intend to raise is not contingent on sinking fund. The project will re-appraise itself. We shall work with competent financial advisers.”, Olowo said.
The Managing Director, LCFE, Mr. Akin Akeredolu-Ale in his presentation expressed optimism that LCFE shall provide opportunities for Lagos State Government to meet its financial obligations.
“The Lagos State Government estimates the population of Lagos at 22 million which is rapidly growing, calling the urgent need for Food Security.
Lagos has the potential to be self- sufficient and has the potential to employ over 1 million People through: Capital Market Participation, Public Private Participation and Joint State Partnerships etc.
“The Capital Market has been a source of funding for Lagos State in the past and this time will not be different. We are proposing that Lagos State Government lists an Exchange Traded Note (ETN) OF 100 billion Naira in the first instance on Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange in a bid to fund the 5-year Agricultural Road Map”, Akeredolu-Ale said.
In his opening remarks, the LCFE’s Chairman, Chief Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu said The Exchange was established in recognition of the need to fully realize the potential of the country’s drive towards the development of Agriculture, Energy and Solid Mineral resources and to put Nigeria on global revenue map and enhance flow of foreign currency exchange in the country.
“The inaugurated five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap in Lagos State would also lead to wealth generation, value creation, food security, industrialization of the agricultural sector and the entrenchment of inclusive socio-economic development of the State.”, said Ezeagu.