The Lagos State Government says its 27 Makeshift Neighbourhood Food Markets have achieved the objective of enabling Lagos residents to access farm produce.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made this assertion on Wednesday during his inspection tour of the Ramadan Edition of the Makeshift Neighbourhood Markets.
Lawal said that residents were able to access the markets without much trouble as the state continued to observe the lockdown directive in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commissioner was accompanied by Kehinde Joseph, the Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, during visit to Local Government Primary School, Idimu and Ejigbo Nursery and Primary, Orilowo, Ejigbo, venues of the markets.
Lawal said the state government was satisfied with the success rate of the 27 COVID-19 Makeshift Markets originally created to reduce the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on Lagos residents.
He explained that with the establishment of the markets, lots of Lagos residents have been provided the opportunity to access food produce, including vegetables, perishable goods and even fast consumer products, especially those needed for the Ramadan fast.
“The Ejigbo Nursery and Primary School in Ejigbo LCDA under the Oshodi Isolo Local Government is the fourth and Ramadan edition of the Lagos emergency makeshift markets or neighborhood markets, so to say.
“So far, we are happy with the success rate. We are happy that the makeshift markets have given the opportunity to lots of Lagos people to be able to access markets without much trouble,” Lawal said.
The commissioner said that price of products at the markets were very competitive and cheaper than what obtains in the open markets, which he said had contributed greatly to the level of patronage recorded.
According to him, the makeshift markets were created to reduce the economic burden that the COVID-19 pandemic triggered and provide access to market as they observe the total lockdown in the state.
“The markets were satisfactorily serving that purpose such that the open markets that were supposed to be the major point of call for people are now recording lower patronage.
“This is in line with the social distancing guidelines of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration,” the commissioner said.
Lawal explained that though, the economy of Lagos was important, the protection of lives was more important.
He said that the state government would continue to do all within its power to ensure that its citizens are safe.
Also, Joseph, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, urged residents to be patient with the state government and comply with the total lockdown and social distancing directives.
He said the lockdown and social distancing directives were in the interest of the people, hence they must continue to comply in order to achieve the desired success.
Joseph commended the state government through the ministry of agriculture for setting up the emergency markets which shows the importance that the government attached to welfare of the people.
He said the markets were well organised in compliance with the social distancing rule, use of face masks as well as personal hygiene directive of the government and the National Centre for Disease Control.
Joseph said he had distributed hand sanitisers, food items and cash donations to residents of Alimosho Constituency and as well educated them on the importance of social distancing since the virus was first report in the country in February.
He said he had also carried out enlightenment campaign on the seriousness of COVID-19 and the need for people to adhere to all the guidelines listed by the state government.
In her remarks, the Iyaloja, Olugbede Modern Market in Egbeda, Alimosho Local Government, Mrs Esther Adebamowo, commended the state government for supporting her members with the emergency food market.
Adebamowo said farmers had been educated on the need to maintain social distancing rule in the market and avoid crowded environment.
“We have told our members that they should maintain social distancing and also avoid crowd in the markets,” she said. (NAN)