Lagos: Boosting economic growth with rural development
Determined to ensure all round
development across the state, the Lagos State Government is
now paying more attention to rural communities, with special
consideration for developmental projects that will boost the
rural economy, and by extension, contribute to the growth of
the entire state’s economy. This, in essence, is also targeted
at making life easy for people in the rural communities just
as being enjoyed at the city centers.
Of course, in fulfilling its electoral promises, the government has continued to deliver good governance in all its ramifications even as it moves nearer to the realization of its mega city dream. This renewed commitment to rural development is also seen as an elixir to the accelerated growth and developments which the state aspires on daily basis.
In this regard, several projects have been implemented in the recent time as the Babatunde Fashola led administration demonstrates its commitment to using the rural communities to drive the Lagos Economy. In Ajah, for instance, the government has established a 120 hectare vegetable farm being farmed by indigenous and neighbourhood villages. Similar project has also been implemented producing a vegetable farm in Iya-Afin and a farm settlement in Ajara.
Also in Ikoga area, the state is currently farming 75 hectares of rice. In Imota, the government has also fulfilled its promise of installing rice mill, which is currently being tested and billed for commissioning very early in 2012. In Ajia in Badagry, the state is already developing a 200 hectare farm settlement along the Songhai model which was recently approved by the State Executive Council. The same thing is happening to a 380 hectare site in Araga where the government has started an Agric Youth Empowerment programme that is employing young graduates and enabling them to take up a new life, a new occupation, a new profession in farming and explore all of the value chains of farming as an occupation.
Speaking recently at the 2011 Community Development Day celebrations with the theme, ‘Optimising Community Resources for Job Creation and Self Reliance’, Governor Fashola, who reiterated his commitment to give priority to the development of communities in the state by using them to boost the economy and ensuring all round growth, highlighted several other projects for the rural communities.
According to him, other areas where Government present is currently being felt include Gberigbe where there is a Piggery farm that has an investment of about N2 billion, employing about 2, 300 pig farmers, Araga, where Government has a Ram Ranch and building poultry as well as culturing and nurturing rams for sale in the market and Ibeshe where Government is implementing its commitment to the community to replace their pylon and electricity supply that was destroyed.
“Our commitment to the Ilashe Community has also been approved by the Executive Council where we will be developing a first class beach estate as a model of what the opportunities we have for tourism in this State and on our coastal waters should look like. We are bringing security closer to our people. The five Area Commands that were approved for the State are located in many of our communities like Ijede, Elemoro, Ilase and Morogbo in Badagry to mention but a few”, the Governor said.
He said the rural people have also benefitted from his Government’s policies with regards to the upgrading of traditional rulers adding, “Many of your Baales have been upgraded into First Class and Second Class Obas in the Lagos State Council of Chiefs and there will be more of such to come as we go into the New Year”.
In the same vein , the Commissioner for Rural Development, Cornelius Ojelabi, said the government had been creating and developing programmes that were community-driven through the CDAs and Community Development Councils. The government, he said, had also been harnessing resources to improve the standard of living of rural dwellers and stemming rural-urban drift.
All these point to the fact that Lagos State Government remains resolute in its development drive, exploring all opportunities to take the state to greater heights. Again, it shows that Lagos is actually on course for achieving her mega city target.