Going by figures released by Lagos Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the average Lagosian feeds with a meagre N273, because, according to the state chief executive, residents consume about N4.5 billion worth of food daily.
Transposing the figure with the larger Nigerian population, it means that a staggering N57 billion is used for feeding daily in the country, if Lagos is indeed a microcosm of the country.
But, sadly, the figure is less than half a dollar that the average Nigerian feeds with, accentuating the picture of hardship citizens have lived with in the last few years, amidst the boast from the head of the present administration, President Muhammadu Buhari, that Nigerians are better off than seven years ago.
At the opening of a two-day zonal sensitisation workshop on “Implementation of Food Systems Transformation Pathways in Nigeria 2022,” on Monday in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu said, “Although it covers only 0.4 per cent of Nigeria’s territorial land mass making it the smallest in the country.
“It accounts for over 60 per cent of industrial and commercial activities. Lagos is a coastal state and has an extremely limited arable land space and home to about 21 million people.
“Its residents consume about N4.5 billion worth of food daily and 50 per cent of beef produced in the country running into several billions in other trading activities with markets cutting across all the local government areas in the state.”
The workshop was organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Lagos Ministry of Economic, Planning and Budget, with Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti participating. Lagos is the coordinating state for Southwest goepolitical zone.
Represented by Mr Sam Egube, Commissioner for Economic, Planning and Budget, the state governor disclosed that the state had decided to take the bull by the horn in guaranteeing food security for people with different agricultural and food value chain.
Lagos, he said, has a rich history of economic growth and transformation, calling for joint collaboration among Southwest goepolitical zone to implement the Food Systems Transformation Pathways.
Sanwo-Olu added that improving the food systems would influence positive changes and as well address multiple challenges being experienced in the country.
He said that the state agric roadmap was a deliberate effort to develop the agricultural sector by way of interventions from the public and private sector, international technical and donor organisations.
“I am aware that the need for states across the six geopolitical zones to be adequately sensitised on the implementation of the National Food Systems Transformation Pathways is the basis for this workshop.
“It gives me great pleasure to note that Lagos State was selected to host the South West geopolitical sensitisation which I consider as an acknowledgement of the positive impacts our policies and efforts are making in the agricultural sector.
“As a state government, we will continue to provide infrastructure and incentives to support all private sector initiatives where required.
“History has shown that any society that is unable to provide food guarantee, its security is open to abuse and utmost danger,” he said.
The governor commended the efforts of the Federal Government on its unrelenting efforts to ensure that the food systems summit in conjunction with the United Nations is developed.
“I assure you that the Lagos State Government is fully committed to achieving a food secured Lagos and Nigeria through partnership with all national and sub-national entities as well as private sector and international technical and donor organisations.
He urged all participants at the workshop to show commitment by sharing ideas and opinions on the selected programmes slated to kick-start implementation.