The Lagos State Government says it will begin the sales of rice before Christmas celebration to residents in collaboration with Kebbi Government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, told newsmen on Monday in Lagos that about 100,000 bags of 50 kg were being expected for sales at N20,000 per bag.
Olusanya said the state government was working very hard with the Kebbi Government and the Federal Government to ensure that people of Lagos have enough rice during the festive season.
“We are intervening in the area of availability of rice for the festive season, and it will be sold at N20,000 per bag.
“The most important thing is that we have rice available, be it Lake Rice or other brands,” she said.
Olusanya said that the delay in the sale was due to the process of production.
“During the festive season, millets have to be polished, mill, and processed before 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 at last week, and we are expecting much more in the next couple of days,” the commissioner said.
On the construction of Imota Rice Mill, she said that the impact of COVID-19 lockdown had delayed completion of the project.
“We have been to Imota Rice Mill to see the level of work done, and we know that because of the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, equipment manufacturers from Switzerland could not send their team down.
“They had to check that the equipment were okay before they are unpacked and installed.
“If we had gone ahead without the team checking the equipment, we would have forfeited our warranty window and we cannot afford to do that.
“Everything is being done to ensure that the lines are ready as soon as possible and within the next few months, the Imota Rice Mill will be ready.
“We have the private sector actors working with us already aggregating paddy, so we should not be short of paddy,” Olusanya said.