In continuation of the Coconut renewal initiative of the Lagos State Government, the General Manager of Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA), Mr. Dapo Olakulehin has handed over coconut seedlings to the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, for planting at the institution’s waterfront.
Speaking at the ceremony, Olakulehin stated that the Agency is collaborating with UNILAG in line with the coconut renewal initiative policy of the Lagos State Government to boost production as well as tap into the economic and environmental potential of the cash crop.
According to him, “The exercise is meant to promote Coconut development activities in Lagos State, through the distribution of the Coconut seedlings to various quarters, so as to increase awareness on the array of invaluable economic, health and environmental benefits that coconut offers amid many of its other social benefits”.
He explained that the aim of the initiative was to also make coconut a household tree, whereby people would understand the economic benefits of the crop, stressing that there are currently about 2.5 million coconut trees in the urban areas and the plan is to increase it to three million by the end of 2020.
The General Manager continued that in Nigeria, Coconut has a cultural affinity with the Lagoon and Coastal areas such as Lagos Island and Badagry, so the Agency is giving priority to UNILAG because its beautiful waterfront is seen as a very suitable area of choice.
Prof. Khalid Adekoya of the Cell Biology and Genetics Department, UNILAG, appreciated the kind gesture of LASCODA and sought for further collaboration in the area of research on genetic improvement of coconut.
He also commended Mr. Dapo Olakulehin, General Manager, LASCODA, for his efforts in ensuring the fulfillment of one of the pillars of the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda which is ‘Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy’ through the Coconut Value Chain.
The highlight of the event was the symbolic planting exercise by the General Manager of LASCODA with the involvement of the top management Staff of UNILAG led by Prof. Bola Oboh, Director of Research and Innovation Unit.