Nigeria: Construction Begins On Africa’s Largest Food Logistics Park In Epe

The 1.2-million-square-metre facility is strategically located with access to agrarian settlements.

By Chriselle Moraes on
4th November 2022

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu performed the groundbreaking ceremony in Ketu-Ereyun, Epe area, for the Lagos State Food Security Systems and Central Logistics Hub. 

The facility covering a 1.2 million square metre area, will be the largest of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa. The location is strategic, given its easy access to agrarian settlements. A funding scheme is also in place, with the project expected to be completed by the last quarter of 2024. 

This all-important Central Logistics Hub will be developed through collaboration between the State Government and the private sector. The Lagos State Government is carrying out the project in partnership with Messers Origin Project Management, African Development Fund, and Providus Bank. 

The project will be implemented through a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-and-Transfer (DBFOT) model. “At every step of the way, we will be counting on the contributions of the private sector in terms of financing and technical advisory and support,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The main sections of the project include – aggregation/storage facilities, administrative offices, trading/brokering facilities, and packaging facilities.

The food logistics hub will help boost food security in Lagos and Nigeria. It will also have processing facilities, cold chain/dry goods services, logistics services/ trailer park, water treatment plant, health centre, fuel station/ fire station, and abattoir. 

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Sanwo-Olu broke down the steps and phases involved in the project. “The project will be implemented in two phases; the pilot phase, for which we are doing the groundbreaking; and the main phase. When completed, the hub will create wealth for more than 5 million people, feed more than 10 million Lagosians, guarantee food supplies for at least 90 days, provide storage facilities for more than 1,500 trucks per day, serve the needs of thousands of operators per annum, and process large commercial transactions.” 

Origin Group, the project partner, confirmed that the project’s first phase, which includes building storage facilities, would be completed in the next seven months. A 900-megawatt off-grid power source will operate the hub, and 16,000 direct jobs will also be created.

This food logistics hub comes under a five-year Agricultural and Food Systems Road Map (2021–2025) launched by the Sanwo-Olu administration. On completion, it would help improve productivity and help farmers gain better returns for their produce by eliminating the need for middlemen. 

There will be better access to modern processing and packaging facilities for farmers. It will help keep track of resources and thus generate useful data for government agencies, private sector players, and multilateral agencies. 

This data can be used for government public planning and private sector investment decisions. The hub will also improve consumer access to ensure a better buying experience and reduce logistics costs. A uniform standard will be achieved for the quantity and quality of agricultural products. 

Farmers currently lose, on average, 40 percent of their produce because of the lack of a post-harvest storage system. “I can boldly say that this is one of the most important agricultural interventions that Nigeria has ever seen. The fact that it is taking place in Lagos, the country’s most populous and fastest-growing subnational entity, means that it is bound to have significant national, regional, and continental impact,” said State Commissioner for Agriculture Abisola Olusanya. 

He also spoke of the project’s benefits and emphasized its enormity and scope in transforming the economic landscape of Epe and Lagos. He pointed out the various sectors benefitting from the project, such as the real estate sector, banking, logistics, and hospitality sector.

Top Photo: Ongoing construction of 32 Metric Ton per Hour Rice Mill at Imota in Lagos State - the Imota Rice Mill is expected to be commissioned by the end of this year, and forms part of the Lagos State government's initiatives to ensure food security in the state (@lagosagric1 Twitter handle | Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture)

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