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Lagosians Excited As Govt Commences 57 Food Markets Today

Following the announcement by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu that the “Ounje Eko” food markets will begin sales of food items at discounted prices in the five divisions of the state on Sunday, 17th of March, Lagosians may flood the various locations to buy food items at friendly prices.

Sanwo-Olu had stated that the food markets would operate exclusively on Sundays from 11am to 4pm across 57 locations in the state.

The governor, who disclosed this during a live media chat on 22nd of February, said the ‘Sunday Markets’ initiative was aimed at cushioning the effect of the high cost of living in the country.

In a statement on Friday, the state Commissioner, Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, announced the commencement of the initiative, noting that the markets would offer Lagosians a 25 per cent discount on staple food items like rice, beans, garri, bread, eggs, tomatoes, and pepper.

The statement partly read, “In order to prevent sharp practices and ensure the foodstuff reaches a large number of Lagosians, a voucher system will be introduced as the pilot scheme kicks off.

“Independent payment solution providers and food vendors have been identified and carefully selected to operate the process. They will also provide real-time data on the exercise for monitoring.”

Infographics provided by the commissioner revealed that the markets would be opened at 27 locations in Ikeja, six in Lagos Island, nine in Ikorodu, five in Epe, and 10 in Badagry.

It also provided the prices of the food items.

A 5kg bag of rice would sell for N5,325 while 1kg would cost N1,065; a 5kg bag of beans would sell for N6,225 while 1kg would be sold for N1,245. Also, 5kg of garri would be sold for N3,975 while 1kg would be sold for N795.

Other food items include 2 kg of tomatoes for N1,800; 1kg of tatashe for N1,275; 1kg of atarodo for N1,875; 1kg of onions for N450; one loaf of bread for N750; two loaves of bread for N1,500; and one crate of eggs for N2,700.

Some of the discounted markets are, Agege LGA: Dairy Farm Secondary School, Orile-Agege LCDA: Saka Tinubu Memorial School, Orile Agege, Ajeromi-Ifelodun: AFRICAN Primary School (close to the Secretariat), Ikorodu LGA: Ikorodu Grammar School, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA: Zumuratu Islamiya Grammar School, Igbogbo, Ijede LCDA: Luwasa Junior High School, Ijede. Kosofe LGA: St. Emmanuel Primary School, Ogudu and Ikosi Isheri LCDA: Ikosi High School, Ketu.

The markets were zoned under Ikeja, Ikorodu, Badagary and Epe areas.

Expressing excitement at the development, a Lagos resident, Mr Sunday Akurulo speaking to our correspondent on the “Ounje Eko” food market sales starting on Sunday appreciated the governor, but expressed doubt on how long the initiative would last.

Akurulo, who is married with three kids and resides in Dairo Street, Ikosi Ketu, said he would send his wife to the location in the area, Ikosi High School, to know if it is true what the government has promised.

“Governor Sanwo-Olu is a nice man, but I am not sure the government can keep up the good gesture. My wife will go to the market tomorrow (Sunday). At least let’s enjoy it while it lasts.”

Another resident, Mrs Patricia Ugorji, who is a single mother of two, and resides in the same Ikosi, said she might not visit the market because it would be congested.

The 35 years-old teacher said, “You know things like this always cause casualties, just like the rice sales at the Navy dockyard where people lost their lives and no one cared. I will rather continue to pray to God to provide for me than go and risk my life and time there.”

However, another Lagos resident and mother of one, Eberechi Dike, said she was aware of the Lagos Food Discount market, but owing to her current financial situation she might not visit the market on today (Sunday).

“It depends on how I wake up. I don’t have money anywhere now to buy any foodstuffs even though I need them. I will try next weekend and I hope by then it won’t be too crowded.”

But Mrs Abosede Odunayo, described the initiative as a welcome development, explaining that she would take advantage of it and stock her home with food items.

“This is a welcome development. I will be at the one (discounted food market) near to me to buy food items. I am always afraid when it is time to buy foodstuffs because of their high prices. This time around, I believe I will smile home after my time at one of the markets,” Mrs Odunayo stressed.

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