LAKE rice delay due to technical issues, says Lagos government
• 170,000 bags coming soon, says Kebbi
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, has disclosed to The Guardian that the subsidised rice jointly produced by Lagos and Kebbi (LAKE) states would soon be made available to Nigerians in Lagos.
He admitted that the brand should have been made available earlier, but the partnership was unable to do so “due to technical issues.”
Onasanya said: “We are going to sell LAKE rice any moment from now and it will be available for a long time. The delay is due to some technical issues.”
LAKE rice was made available several weeks before the Christmas festive period in 2017, which served as a cheaper alternative to other brands, with a differential of about N5,000-N8,000.
However, many Lagos residents have lamented the unavailability of the brand this year, calling on the states involved to speed up processing and distribution of the brand of rice.
The “technical issues” have also been speculated to be hovering around fallouts of the crises in the Lagos chapter of the All Progress Congress (APC) that climaxed at the disqualification of the current governor for the second term nomination bid.
The Kebbi State governor was said to have begged Chief Bola Tinubu in Osogbo, Osun State, when the governorship election was conducted, to forgive Governor Akinwumi Ambode and nominate him for the second term. The failure to resolve the crises despite the pleas was said to have affected the partnership of delivering LAKE rice to Lagos.
However, The Guardian has been authoritatively informed that over 170,000 bags of 50-kg LAKE rice were being transported to Lagos and would soon be made available to Lagos residents.
Briefing our correspondent in Birnin-Kebbi, the Kebbi State coordinator of the rice, Usman Dangaladima, said 120 trailers were expected to deliver the products to Lagos soon.
He explained that the partnership, which was signed by the two states, was to reduce the high landing cost of food stuffs, especially rice.
“The production and supply of LAKE rice is currently ongoing. The supply of the rice has resumed in Lagos for the Christmas and New Year celebrations,” he added.
Dangaladima added that the cost of the production was about N1 billion.
“The rice millers that are involved in the production are Labana Rice Mill, WACOTT Rice Mill in Kebbi State and Humza in Kano State,” he added.
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