The Lagos State Government said plans have been concluded plans in collaborating with the Kebbi State and the Federal Government through the Central bank of Nigeria to make at least 100,000 bags of LAKE rice available for residents during the Yuletide celebrations.
Meantime, the state government, on Monday, at the Awolowo Live Bird Market, Mushin kicked off a-week state–wide disinfection and decontamination of 33 major live bird markets across the state.
On the LAKE rice, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya who disclosed this to newsmen at the 2020 Sea Food Festival in Lagos, said that about 100,000 bags of 50 kg would be sold for N20,000 per bag.
She said that the exercise was an intervention by the state government to make rice available to its residents, especially, during the yuletide festive period.
Olusanya said that the rice intervention exercise would be flagged off this week and would be sold through distributors.
According to her, “We will be flagging off what we are doing in collaboration with Kebbi state and the Federal Government through the Central bank of Nigeria.
“We are intervening in the availability of rice for the festive season and we are expecting well over 60,000 bags of 50kg rice within the next couple of days to the Lagos market.
“It will be sold at N20,000 to ensure affordability, availability, and good quality for Lagosians.
“The most important thing is that we have rice available, be it LAKE rice or other brands.
“We are working very hard with the Kebbi state government and the federal government to ensure that Lagosians have food during this festive season.”
Olusanya said that the delay in the sale was due to the process of production.
“During the festive season, millets have to get the polished, mill, processed before the rice will be available. It’s not that rice is not available in the market but the price points are a bit high.
“The intervention of the Lagos State Government under the leadership of Mr. Babjide Sanwo-Olu in collaboration with the Federal Government through CBN and the Governor of Kebbi is to ensure that we have rice available at lower price points.
“Don’t forget that they are in the harvest season now for paddy, so this is the best time to get good quality rice. The rice has started arriving as of last week and we are expecting much more in the next couple of days.
“We will be doing the flag-off ceremony at one of our distributors ends to let Lagosians know that these are the interventions that we are doing to ensure that we make rice available at affordable prices,” she said.
On the disinfection of live bird marts, Olusanya, noted that the exercise is aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly avian influenza and other zoonotic diseases “as we approach the festive period when the demand for live birds increases.”
She listed the markets where the disinfection and decontamination would take place as: ,Awolowo, Mushin, Cairo, Oshodi; Bolade, Arena; Olaleye, Bariga, Ketu, Mile 12, Tejuosho, Oyingbo, Jankara, and Pelewura Live Bird Markets, Lagos Island, among others.
The Commissioner then urged members of the Live Bird Marketers Association of Nigeria and all stakeholders to give their full support and cooperation in order to ensure the success of the exercise.
However, the President of Live Bird Marketers in Lagos State, Mrs. Olushola Osoba who witnessed the commencement of the exercise commended the state government for its continuous support to her members.
She noted that the year’s exercise was the fifth time this year that the State Government was disinfecting the market adding that and as a result, members of her association have recorded low mortality of their birds to avian influenza.
“The Lagos State Government is really doing well for us. This year, this is the fifth time the State Government will be disinfecting our market for us. Because of this, the mortality rate of our chickens has reduced,” Osoba said.
Vanguard News Nigeria