Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Lagos State governor, and his Kebbi State counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu on Wednesday launched the much anticipated Lagos-Kebbi Rice christened LAKE RICE, saying that the partnership which culminated into the launch was not only designed to ensure food security but showcase the ability of Nigeria to become a producing nation.
Speaking at the launching ceremony held at Lagos House in Ikeja, Governor Ambode said the development was a great and historic moment for both states and Nigeria, as the rice would not only be sold at highly reduced price, compared to what obtains in the market but is also very fresh and safe for consumption.
“Today is a historic day for Lagos and Kebbi States. In March 2016, we signed an MOU with an understanding that we, being proudly Nigeria, we want to come out with what is made in Nigeria and what is good in Nigeria. We took all that President Muhammadu Buhari said that we need to grow our food and we decided that we will prove a point and that is what today is all about.
“LAKE RICE is of good quality. The major difference between LAKE RICE and the ones imported is that the imported has a minimum storage of five to six years storage lifespan, but LAKE RICE is fresh,” the Governor said.
He said the partnership would in the nearest future lead to an expansion of production of the rice, saying that Lagos has the largest consumption market.
Giving a breakdown of the prices, Governor Ambode said that while the 50kg will sell for N12, 000, 25kg would go for N6, 000 and 10kg for N2, 500, adding that for now, an individual would only be allowed to purchase a bag to enable it to go round.
He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi, just as he disclosed that the Federal Government has donated two rice mills to the State Government to increase production of rice next year.
Also speaking, Governor Bagudu, who went down memory lane of how the collaboration started with a discussion between him and Governor Ambode during a meeting in Abuja, said the partnership was a confirmation of both State Governments’ commitment to the agenda of making Nigeria a big market in Africa.
He said while Kebbi State has a comparative advantage in the area of rice production, Lagos boasts of the largest consumption market, saying that the LAKE RICE can stand any integrity test in Nigeria.
“Our rice is of quality. I am proud of this joint venture. We can do more with other commodities like Cocoa, Soya beans and Sorghum and I am very glad that we are launching the LAKE RICE today,” Bagudu said.