Lagosians Jostle For Lake Rice At Centres
…As price almost same with open market
By Josh Babatunde
Lagosians have started to jostle for the lake rice provided by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led administration.
The state government has also sought the participation of major rice distributors in Lagos and signed a partnership agreement with the distributors in the transportation, distribution and marketing of lake rice.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Mr. Ganiyu Okanlawon signed the partnership agreement on behalf of the Lagos state government.
According to him, the agreement will ensure that residents get lake rice not just from designated sales centres but also from the open market at the official government price.
Okanlawon explained that the agreement which is valid for one year in the first instance and may be extended by mutual agreement in writing for additional period, involves major distributors in various rice markets in the State which have the capacity to receive and distribute large tonnes of lake rice during and after the yuletide season.
“The distributors shall transport and market lake rice, engage in equitable distribution of the product by avoiding hoarding and other sharp practices and ensure all year round continuous and equitable distribution of lake rice”, he said.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Olayiwole Onasanya disclosed that government will verify claims of address and warehouse or shops of the distributors, approve all business plans before implementation and conduct regular monitoring visits with respect to capacity and effectiveness of the distributor.
However, critics said, aside the fact that the lake rice is fuller, the market price of N12,000 (50kg) is just a difference of a thousand naira.
According to Modupe Iyiola, the difference in terms of cost is not much but the suffering of queuing is more than expected.
“Nigerians love cheap things ,even if it’s just a five kobo difference. But Lagos state and it’s lake rice could do better in subsequent years”.