Lagos, APPEALS Project Open Bid For Farm Access Road

Photo Caption: Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, State Project Coordinator of APPEALS project (standing) addressing people at the programme; flank on her left by Mr Fatai Onafowote, Director-General, LSPPA, and on her right by Dr Olamilekan Pereira-Sheteolu, Programme Manager, LSADA; Michael Agbolade, Assistant Director of Procurement, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, representing the Permanent Secretary, Mr Hakeem Adeniji. 

As part of measures to boost farm-to-market accessibility, the Lagos State Government and  Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project on Thursday opened bid for the construction of 13.16 kilometres Farm Access Road (FAR). 

 The Farm Access Roads are located in Araga in Epe; Afowo in Badagry; Igbofo in Epe and Erikorodo in Ikorodu areas of the state. 

Mr Hakeem Adeniji, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, in his opening remarks at the Bid Opening on Thursday in Lagos, said the hallmark of the state was infrastructure development.

Adeniji, represented by Michael Agbolade, Assistant Director of Procurement, said that the state was committed to ensuring infrastructure development at the local government level and empowering farmers with inputs for increased production and livelihoods. 

He said: “The state believes in infrastructure development and the APPEALS project about to open bid today is part of this hallmark. 

“The project is part of Lagos State Government’s commitment to ensure infrastructure development at the local government level and also to empower farmers in terms of inputs and other interventions. 

“The bid opening exercise is an avenue for everyone to see that there is a level playing ground for all participants.” 

In his keynote address, Mr Fatai Onafowote, the Director-General, Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (LSPPA), described the process as fair, transparent and competitive. 

Onafowote said: “The level of participation is encouraging and I am impressed. 

“If you look at a particular lot, as much as 10 to 12 people picked the bid and almost nine of them were able to submit. 

“That is a fair competition, and we look out for things like this so that we will get the best from those who participated. 

“We have opened the bid process and we have now moved to the next stage of evaluation.” 

He explained that each project had its peculiarities and the process required for bidding might be different from the National Competitive Bidding done in the case of APPEALS. 

Commenting, Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the State Project Coordinator of APPEALS, said that the project looks at the value chain approach from farm-to-market. 

Sagoe-Oviebo said that after production and not having access to market was an issue for farmers, noting that this hampers the ability of farmers to get premium prices on their produce. 

“For poultry, you produce eggs and half of your production gets broken before it gets to the market due to bad roads, that is a big issue. 

“Looking at it, most of our access roads are poultry estates so that by the time they get to the markets, breakages will be minimal,” she said. 

On the bidding process Sagoe-Oviebo said: “Lots of Nigerians have this mindset that you can always cause things to happen, but we want everyone to know that Nigeria can actually do things right. 

“This whole process is very transparent and at the end of the day, this government should be commended for this. 

“This process will intensively go on for two weeks; so, I want to sincerely congratulate the winners in advance. 

“We will be thorough and open, everyone will see how they have been rated and everyone will be at peace that no one was cheated. 

“So, for whosoever wins, the job must be properly done, because beyond awarding contracts, we are also going to be engaging supervisors who are going to supervise the jobs from the start to finish.” 

According to her, we have the farmers/beneficiaries; they are the ones who will tell us that the jobs were properly done. 

“The evaluation committee will be fully engaged, because it is not just about the financial, but the technical know-how, having the right equipment and can they actually carry out the jobs properly. 

“Those voluminous documents will be properly dissected, for every criteria, there are various ratings, then after the evaluation, the selected bidders will now be made open,” she added. 

Also, Mr Babatunde Adeniran of the Peoples Choice Properties Ltd., one of the bidders, appreciated the state government and the project coordinating office for the transparent process.