By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Residents of Lagos State on Thursday besieged the various sale centres across the state to buy the much-anticipated LAKE Rice, with vast majority of the people lauding the initiative of government to introduce the commodity at a critical time of the Yuletide season.
LAKE Rice, which is locally produced, came into being following a partnership between Lagos and Kebbi States, and was aimed at ensuring food security as well as to showcase the ability of Nigeria to become a producing nation.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his Kebbi State counterpart, Mr Atiku Bagudu had launched the rice on Wednesday in Lagos, describing the development as a great and historic moment not just for the two states but the country at large.
As promised by Lagos State government, the rice was sold for N12,000 per 50kg; N6000 for 25kg; and N2,500 for 10kg.
When our correspondent visited some of the designated centres listed for the sale of the rice, it was discovered that the commodity was available for sale with people queuing in an orderly manner and waiting for their turn to buy.
In Oshodi, residents had besieged the Ikeja Grammar School in Bolade, Oshodi, the selling point for the sale of the LAKE Rice.
Speaking to journalists shortly after successfully purchasing his bag of rice, a resident, Mr Alanran Muyideen Kehinde said he was glad to be among the first.
He also urged Lagosians to patronise LAKE Rice as a means to guard against the incident of purchasing adulterated rice.
“I feel very happy, I feel encouraged. I also thank the state government for giving us the opportunity because when we go outside, we know the cost of rice, but we thank the Lagos State Governor for this opportunity and we hope that more would be made available so that the process of purchasing would be easier.
“With the issue of plastic rice flooding the market, this is a safer option because we can trust the source,” he said.
Another resident, Mrs Alebiousu Olufunmilayo, said the cost of the LAKE Rice was pocket friendly.
“I will like to tell Lagosains that this is for real. If they get to any of the centres, they should queue orderly and they will get the rice,” she said.
At Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre (Rowe Park) in Yaba, residents were seen queuing orderly to buy the commodity at government approved prices.
An elated resident, Mrs Alabi Aminat, who spoke to journalists after buying the product, said the development was a thing of joy, as there was no discrimination of any sort in the sale of the commodity.
“I got here this morning and I was told I could pay through the POS and I did. The process was free and fair and the most commendable aspect is that the people in charge of selling the rice are not particular about whether you work with Lagos State government or you belong to any tribe or creed, as long as you are a resident of the state, you are entitled to buy.
“I was allowed to buy one bag and I got 50kg at the N12,000 price earlier announced by the government. They just told us to stay on the queue and when it is your turn, you will be asked to pay and take away your rice. It’s as simple as that,” she said.
At the Teslim Balogun Stadium, there were complaints of late arrival of the commodity, but it was eventually sold in the afternoon.
Some residents however urged the government to sustain the sale of the rice beyond the yuletide season.
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