By Adepote Arowojobe and Olayinka Olawale
Traditional rulers in Lagos have applauded the Lagos State Government for the completion and inauguration of the Eko Rice Mill in Imota community, Ikorodu.
The traditional rulers described the project as a landmark achievement.
The traditional rulers are; Oba Kabir Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu; Oba Ajibade Agoro, the traditional ruler of Imota and Oba Omogbolahan Lawal, the Oniru of Iruland.
Speaking at the inauguration, Shotobi, commended both the federal and state governments for siting the rice mill in Imota and promised that the project would be maintained by the community.
He said the rice mill would bring enormous economic opportunities to the community and jobs for the teeming youths in the area.
According to him, the rice mill will bring great opportunity to Imota especially on employment.
“I urge our youth to stop searching for white collar jobs but focus on agricultural or study agric to increase the country’s food chain,” he said.
Also, the host traditional ruler of Imota, Oba Ajibade Agoro, said the project would boost the commercial and economic development of the Imota community.
He commended Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos for initiating and seeing to the completion of the rice mill, saying that the facility would have a multiplier positive effect on the community.
“I am the happiest man on earth today because it was during my reign as the Oba of Imota that this is happening.
“I am 30 years on the throne and I am going to celebrate it with this inauguration because it is a landmark achievement bestowed on the people of Imota during my tenure.
“This plant will bring about those factors of production that will promote commercial and economic development.
“This mill is projected to create up to 250,000 jobs, just imagine the multiplying effect of such number if added to our community with their dependents,” Agoro said.
Also speaking, Oba Lawal, the Oniru of Iru land, commended the Lagos State Government for being the first state to have a state owned mill and the host community for providing the land.
He noted that the rice project which was first initiated as Eko Rice had contributed immensely to the state growth and provided jobs through the rice value chain right from production to milling and transportation.
“I am very happy for this development. I remember 2011 to 2012, when the Eko Rice started, it was 2.5 metric tonnes capacity.
“We are able to create a lot of jobs through the rice value chain.
“Today, we are on eight hectares of land optimally utilised and the number of jobs it will create is awesome, this is the biggest in West Africa,” Oniru said.