Posted by News Express | 30 March 2020 | 681 times
Lagos State Government has warned against sale of food packs provided under its economic stimulus package for indigent and the most vulnerable as a result of the stay-at-home directive to residents, to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.
This follows advertisement of the stimulus package by some groups on the social media.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal who spoke during an inspection tour to some of the markets at Ikeja Primary School, GRA and Ojota Nursery and Primary School, Ogudu, Lagos said, the package which included bags of rice, beans, garri, bread, were not for sale and that the government had not engaged organisations to produce and distribute on its behalf.
He advised citizens not to buy such products from anybody, adding that products under the stimulus initiative were adequately branded and are to be given out free.
The Commissioner of Agriculture said the government has been working with the existing database of the state – using the Lagos State Social register and 4000 community development association register in 377 wards to ensure the right people benefit from the programme.
Lawal said much of the stimulus food packs have been distributed in most of the local government councils, including Ibeju Lekki. The food packs are produced for a size of six people per household and would last for at least fourteen days.
On the makeshift markets, Lawal said there were 25 of such neighbourhood food markets across the state.
”Today, we are flagging-off the emergency neighbourhood food markets setup by the State Government in selected schools to bring markets closer to the people. Essentially, what we are going to see here is how a market is brought closer to the community. We don’t want a situation where people have to travel far in public transportation thereby exposing to the danger of the spread of COVID-19.
”By the time people know there is a neighbourhood market within the area which people can just walk 200 meters to the place, they would be oblige to make use of such market.
”It is also important to let know that it is not all Lagosians that have the capacity to bulk purchase produce and store in their homes.
”There are some families that do not have the capacity to bulk purchase because they are daily earners, such people you know because of the lockdown, they are not able to get enough money.
”Those families can come here, buy few thing they need like beverages, vegetables, fish, bread, eggs and poultry products during this period. It is a typical grocery store like we have in other developed countries,
Lawal explained that the next markets dates are next Wednesday and Saturday this week just as he urged residents to take advantage of the markets and buy their food and other agriculture needs at the markets.
He said there was emergency arrangement to ensure Lagosians have access to food supplies during the restrictive period, and to prevent panic buying following the directive of the Governor that all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities be closed.
He urged for strict adherence to safety measures by shoppers and necessary precautionary measures of social distancing.
He therefore, advised all residents of the state to take individual responsibility during this restrictive period by acting positively so that the chain of the disease’s transmission could be broken in the state.
He said Government suspended the Easter edition of its Eko-City Farmers’ Market earlier slated for yesterday at the Tafawa Balewa Square due to the corona virus.
The State Commissioner explained that the suspension was parts of the measures the State Government have adopted in order to halt the spread of the deadly virus among the people.
Speaking with journalists at a market site at Central Primary School, Ikeja GRA, a fresh produce seller, Godwin Ikemefuna commended the government for setting up makeshift markets to cushion the effect of market closure across Lagos.
By setting up the markets, Ikemefuna said, the state has been able to provide Lagosians access to food supplies during the restrictive period, and enable sellers like him to help residents to get essential commodities through neighborhood markets. (The Nation)
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