I have always been an ardent supporter of Lagos State Government initiatives aimed at transforming the lives of the masses.
One of such good initiative is the partnership that came to the fore after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Lagos and Kebbi States in 2016 which later in that year produced a brand of rice known as Lake Rice.
The immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode made good his promise to make Lake Rice available and affordable to Lagosians.
A bag of 50kg rice sells for twelve thousand naira(N12,000), 25kg of Lake rice goes for six thousand Naira (N6,000) while N2,500 can conveniently purchase a 10kg bag of Lake rice.
Three years after the emergence of Lake rice in Lagos, the government is still grappling with challenges of making LAKE Rice available to consumers on demand.
I have made efforts to purchase a bag of this brand of rice over time, to no avail. But it appears the commodity finds its way to Lagos State only during festive seasons at designated centres across the State.
The Islamic festival of sacrifice, Eid-il-Adha approaches, newspapers are agog with stories (more like announcements) that “Lagos has commenced the sale of LAKE Rice…” with different styles of titles. Perhaps, the next time we read story on availability of Lake rice would be during the Christmas and New Year season.
One can only wonder why LAKE rice suddenly becomes scarce after festive periods in Lagos State. Is it the same situation in Kebbi State? The answer will definitely be No!
Incidentally, the present upward review of price now which sees a 50kg bag of Lake rice selling for N14,000 while 25kg bag is now sold for N7,000.
This has raised a lot of concerns and here is hoping that authorities concerned will investigate and get to the root of this inconvenience with a view to checking any form of sharp practices in this regard.
What is worth doing should be done well. Since there is an MoU between Kebbi and Lagos States, the commodity must be available on demand and the status quo on the cost of Lake rice must be sustained.
There is also the need to expand the markets and centres where Lake rice can be purchased by Lagosians without tears, afterall, the MoU with Kebbi State only scaled through because tax-payers’ money was committed into the partnership.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Muslim News Nigeria.