Blighted By Rising Food Prices, Lagosians Find Succour In Discount Markets

Blighted By Rising Food Prices, Lagosians Find Succour In Discount Markets

Blighted By Rising Food Prices, Lagosians Find Succour In Discount Markets

With Nigerians struggling to cope with the impact of the harsh economy on their lives, GODFREY GEORGE and AMARACHI OKEH write that Lagos residents are find succour in the Ounje Eko initiative of the state government

It was 8:30 am on March 17. The sun had not come out but a small crowd was gathering in front of the Ikosi High School, Ikosi Road, Lagos. A few buses filled with foodstuffs were stationary while another van was being awaited.

In minutes, the van, carrying eggs and loaves of bread drove past and packed right in front of other vans. The gate was flung open by a policewoman and the crowd pushed their way in, stepping on each other, trying to find their feet.

An aged woman was helped up by a kind officer and asked to stand in front of the queue where some officials of the Lagos State Government sat, waiting to start giving out tallies to buyers who had come to purchase food items that Sunday at the school.

The Lagos State Government had through the Ounje Eko initiative designated a few buying spots for Lagos residents to purchase food items at discounted rates.

The Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, a week ago, directed that Ounje Eko food markets should commence discounted sales of food items across the five divisions of Lagos effective from Sunday, March 17, 2024.

The state government said food items – rice, beans, garri, bread, eggs, tomatoes, onions, and pepper, among others – would be sold at a 25 per cent discount to residents.

To prevent sharp practices and ensure the foodstuffs reach a large number of Lagosians, a voucher system was introduced as the pilot scheme began.

According to the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, independent payment solution providers and food vendors had been identified and carefully selected to operate the process.

They would also provide real-time data on the exercise for monitoring.

For transparency, the prices of the items were also listed.

For instance, a 5kg bag of rice would sell for N5,325 while 1kg goes for N1,065; a 5kg bag of beans, N6,225, while 1kg would sell for N1,245.

Prices of other staple food items were also made available through various media outlets.

The markets were expected to be open at 27 locations in Ikeja, six in Lagos Island, nine in Ikorodu, five in Epe; and 10 in Badagry.

The governor also has called on all Lagosians to cooperate with the operators at the various locations, monitor the process, and provide feedback through official channels of the Lagos State Government.

The market was to begin at 10 am and stay open till 4 pm, but Mama Adebisi, an aged woman in the Ikosi area, who has no means of livelihood, told Saturday PUNCH that she got to the school gate before 7 am.

Speaking in a mixture of pidgin and Yoruba, she said, “I come here since 7 am. I hear say Governor won sell food cheap for we wey no fit buy the one wey dey market. That is why I come. I don stand here for long before the officials begin dey come.”

She added, “The crowd even push me down where dem dey rush to enter. Na that policeman help me, carry me go for front of the line, make I collect tally. Na only rice I won buy and small pepper and onions, make I for use am make food.

“I for like buy egg o, but where I won see the money?”

Speaking on how she has managed to survive the hardship in the country, she said, “No be small thing o. Na only God dey sustain me o.

“I no get husband and my children dey struggle. That is why when I hear say Governor Sanwo-Olu wan sell food cheap for us, I rush come in the morning, make I no miss that chance.”

Mr Favourable

Favour Anthony (Mr Favourable) Is A Nigerian Music & General News Blogger, Artist, Comedian, Online Promoter, Web Developer . He Is The CEO & >>> For Your Massive Promotion Call/WhatsApp:- +2349030967298

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