It is reputed to be the largest rice mill in sub-Saharan Africa. Located in Imota, a rural community in the Ikorodu Division of Lagos State, the gigantic project covers 22 hectares and is the third largest factory in the world.
With a capacity to produce 2.8 million 50kg bags of rice per year while creating 1,500 direct jobs and 254,000 indirect jobs, only Lagos, a veritable city of excellence, can pull off a project of this magnitude.
The plant, which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 24, is an integrated plant with two warehouses and 16 silos, each with a capacity of 2,500 tons and a height of 25 meters , with a service life of 40 years.
One of Governor Babajid Sanwo-Oulu’s signature projects, the economic benefits of building a rice mill in Lagos State and Nigeria are as great as its size.
At full capacity, the facility will significantly reduce rice prices, increase local production capacity and ultimately improve Nigeria’s trade balance.
In terms of technical ability, Imota Rice Mill claims to be the best. Its machines are fully automated and come from the Swiss company Bühler, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of processing technology. A local company called Henry Karll installed the equipment under Bühler’s supervision.
Water supply, treatment, filtration and reverse osmosis are handled by a local company that has also worked for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and the Nigerian brewery.
The government led by Sanwo-Olu is also developing an industrial park near the factory. According to the governor, the park will provide amenities, allow businesses to thrive and generate a return on investment for business owners.
To facilitate the seamless supply of facilities, the Lagos State Government is working with Kwara, Sokoto, Benue, Borno and Kebbi states to implement a backward integration strategy to meet the mill’s paddy needs.
In order for the 32 metric ton rice mill to function flawlessly, the state government signed a management agreement with WACOT Rice Limited, a subsidiary of the TGI Group. The private company will provide operational support and manage the rice mill for nine months in the first year, for example through a joint venture. The partnership may subsequently be renewed.
In explaining the rationale for the deal with WACOT, Agriculture Commissioner Ms Abisola Olusanya said that the privatization of the operation of the rice mill was to ensure the facility’s output efficiency, noting that the idea was brought up in 2019 when the state government launched it with the company. discuss.
The Governor’s vision for the plant is simple: to optimize the project with a respected private brand and technical support, and to deliver a sustainable plant to its capabilities.
According to Dr. Rotimi Fashola, Special Adviser to the Governor of Sanwo-Olu on the Rice Program: “There is a need for the government to put rice mills on a sustainable path and hand them over to handlers who can predict quality. A partnership with WACOT, a business with a stable brand and a focus on efficiency, led to a joint venture and technical support agreement with WACOT.
“We are excited to bring WACOT to the table for technical support, management and quality assurance skills”.
Rahul Savara, group managing director of TGI Group, said the state government has found a good partner in the company, promising that the company will deploy standard technology and services to manage rice mills. He said the private company shared the belief of the Sanwo-Olu government in meeting the high demand for rice, making Lagos self-sufficient in rice production and processing.
“We are ready to work with Lagos State University to make this facility run at its best. We will deploy the best expertise, technology and training to make the government proud of this investment,” Savara said.
He said the Lagos state government found a good partner in the company and promised that the company would deploy standard technology and services to manage the rice mill.
He said the private company shared the belief of the Sanwo-Olu government in meeting the high demand for rice and making Lagos self-sufficient in rice production and processing.
As the project became operational, it provided jobs, jobs and more jobs to rice farmers and unemployed youth in Lagos State.
Among the many other life-changing projects of the Lagos State Government, the successful execution of multi-billion dollar projects is yet another practical testament to Governor Sanwo-Olu’s superior managerial and administrative skills as he steadfastly seeks to make Lagos became one of the most important cities. The continent’s three largest economies for the foreseeable future.
• Adelowo writes from Lagos
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