…residents consumes up to 40 million bags annually
The Lagos State Government has assured residents of availability of Eko Rice this yuletide season just as it reiterates commitment to the vision behind setting up of Lagos Rice Mill in Imota Ikorodu area of the state.
It also vowed to monitor and curb cases of diversion of the Rice out of the reach of residents adding it has discovered that some even rebagged to resell to consumers at higher price
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr Oluwarotimi Fashola disclosed this to journalists during the facility tour of the 8.5 hectare Lagos Rice Mill in Imota area of Ikorodu.
He said though the state cannot flood all the markets with Eko Rice but was determined to improve on the distribution network in the nearest future.
According to him, residents of the state consumes up to 40 million bags of rice annually which represents the largest in the country noting that the Lagos Rice Mill Imota produced 10% of what Lagos consumes.
Dr Fashola insists that Eko Rice is already trade marked and registered, described it as flagship which cannot be used by any other outlet.
He further told Journalists and i quote “We have silos for paddy and can take 40 tons of paddy. We also develops the boilers from the steam making the Rice of high quality. Within the premises, we have Guest House and staff quarters to boost the morales of our workers”. End of quote.
Speaking on power supply to the Rice Mill, Dr Fashola explained that they are connected to Ikeja electric which supplies on a average about 6 hours daily lamenting that they depends largely on generator to run efficiently.
“We run 65,000 capacity of diesel but the state Governor Mr Babajide Sanwoolu is thinking of Gas based power as a solution to the power problem. We cannot afford to experience power cut during the regular operations” he added
On how they source for paddy which is the main produce for rice, the Special Adviser explained that they receive supply across the nation and ensure proper measurement on arrival at the Rice Mill before taken for processing.
He said that each Truck that brought paddy to the plant in Imota weighs between 30-40 tons which is equivalent of 650 bags.
Talking about another essential material for running the Mill, the Governor’s aide said that they currently have capacity of about 2 million metric tons of water that could be expanded to 4 million.
For daily production, he disclosed that the plant used about 1 million metric tons of treated water while about 85 percent of such go into production to allow remaining 15 percent back to the eco system.
Dr Fashola further said that Line A discharge is where the cleaning of paddy starts from before transfered to line B for further processing. Both Line A and B consists of 16 silos.
The Special Adviser on Agriculture noted that Thailand, Indonesia and Europe don’t bag their rice but used small plastics due to mechanisation while Nigeria and India does.
He told his guests that rejected produce from the entire process are used as Animal feeds while reiterating that what is categorised as waste has value in other area.
The Agric expert disclosed that Bran is a product from Rice adding that the oil extracted from it is almost of high quality as Olive Oil.
According to him “The protein contents is very high used for Soya beans. We get Brown rice from Bran and usually bitter because Protein is bitter too. We eat par boiled Rice in the country, very nutritious unlike imported ones.
He hinted that the plant reject paddy from some suppliers if the deductions of particles are high. We don’t compromise standard at Imota and this is known to all our suppliers
Dr. Fashola noted that anytime they are milling, the plant rely fully on generator and not PHCN to prevent fluctuations.
On his part, the Head of the Quality control room, Mr Wisdom Nnosiri said they carry out proper checks on raw materials from the Turcks steps into the plant for hard mixture
For the Project officer for Lagos Rice Mill, Imota, Shode Oladipupo said her job is to confirm approval for payment before head rice the final product are allowed to leave the premises Lagos Rice Mill, Imota.
The biggest Rice Mill in the country built in 2021 estimated at over twenty billion naira provide employment to more than two hundred Nigerians and some expatriates.