By Olayinka Olawale
Lagos, Aug. 13, 2020 (NAN) The Commandant, Lagos Police College, CP Supo Ajani, has pledged to partner with the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) to promote the state government’s policy on coconut development.
Ajani stated this when he received the General Manager of LASCODA, Mr Dapo Olakulehin, and his team in his office in Lagos on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the LASCODA team was at the college to sensitise and educate senior officers and Head of Departments on the benefits of coconut investment as their retirement plan.
The commandant said although there were coconut trees within the college, he promised to plant more to promote coconut development.
“Police college is part of Lagos State family; we have been together for a very long time and continue to play host to some of the state government’s programmes within our premises at no cost.
“We are ready to partner with you at whatever level for the progress of the state.
“We appreciate your visit and the very educating talk on the enormous health benefits of coconut as well as the investment opportunities as retirement plan,” he said.
He commended LASCODA for donating and planting 30 coconut seedlings within the college.
In his remarks, Olakulehin said the visit was part of the move by the state government to promote the planting of coconut trees in all state and federal establishments within the state.
He said that the aim was also to educate officers of the college of the enormous benefits of coconut tree and how the officers could use it as their retirement plan.
Olakulehin urged officers of the college who were approaching their retirement to establish and embrace coconut farming in their villages.
He said officers could seek help of their relatives in the villages to establish a coconut plantation ahead of their retirement, thereby creating income for them.
He said the plan was good for officers who had about five or 10 years before retirement to tap into the opportunity in order to sustain themselves after retirement.
He said:”All of us including me, we will retire from our jobs one day, either at the age of 60 years or 65 years, or after 35 or 40 years of service as the case may be and after retirement, what next?
“Farming is not attractive but it is something that one can easily retire into when the time comes.
“I always say that if you want to choose the type of farming you want to go into , be careful and open your eyes.
“Dont go back to the village and be giving them money to be cultivating cassava for you, they will use your money to feed.
“I always advice people that when they want to go into farming, especially 10 or five years to retirement, they should go into into permanent crop production.
“When you are talking about permanent crop production, you are talking of coconut, cocoa, oil palm and other permanent crops.”
Olakulehin said the largest coconut plantation in Nigeria presently is located in Nasarawa State, adding that the Emir of Guadu owns the largest coconut plantation.
He said coconut could be grown in almost every part of the country, at least in 26 states.
Olakulehin said that a coconut plantation starts to bear fruits within three and four years, adding that it would support the officers and their families when they finally retire.
“Why are people not planting coconut is because of our diet, in Nigeria and West Africa generally, our diet is oil palm based, instead of coconut oil.
“If you go to Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Philippines, what they have is coconut oil. They have coconut flour, milk bread everything there is about coconut.
“The state government wants to promote coconut in Lagos in order to encourage people to benefit from the health benefits because of the 300 items that can be derived from coconut alone,” he said.
Olakulehin said the crop had a huge potential and could bear fruit for up to 80 to 100 years.
He urged the command to plant coconut seedlings instead of the old royal palms at the entrance of the college.