COVID-19: Lagos Govt To Provide Staple Foods To 200,000 Households

 

The Lagos State Government has announced that it would be providing staple foods such as rice, beans, garri, pepper and water to the indigent and the most vulnerable in the society.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced this during a briefing on Friday, saying that it was part of efforts to cushion the effects of the 14-day stay-at-home directive, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the governor, this distribution of the “economic stimulus package” to the 200,000 is the first phase and is expected to last for a period of 14 days.

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“We have packaged dry food stimulus for about two hundred thousand families in the first instance for a household of husband, wife and about four children. We would be giving bags of rice, bags of beans, garri, bread, dry pepper and we are trying to see if we can add water and some elements of vitamin C. Each ration, we believe is going to be able to last them at least minimum 14 days just so our advocacy around the stay at home, stay with your loved ones will be respected,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“This is a catalytic initiative of our administration with the hope that well-meaning corporate organisations and private individuals can step up to complement the efforts of the government”.

Meanwhile, the governor also announced that food banks will be provided at the various local governments starting from Saturday, March 28, 2020, to ease commuting of people to markets to get basic daily needs.

As the number of confirmed cases in the state has risen to 44 and a total of 65 in the country, the governor urged residents to refrain from gathering or congregating in order to reduce the risk of further spread.

In an earlier briefing on Tuesday, the governor stated that the accepted maximum for any congregation is 25 persons.

While civil servants in the state have been ordered to stay at home, to reduce the number of people out on the roads, the governor urged private sector organisations to allow their non-essential staff to also work from home or resort to online services where possible.

Kaduna Residents Plead With Govt. To Intervene In Food Price Hike

Kaduna Residents Plead With Govt. To Intervene In Food Price HikeAhead of the Christmas celebration, residents of Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria lament over the hike in cost of food items and other commodities needed to make the occasion a memorable one.

While some residents complained that prices of essential commodities have gone up, traders on the other hand groan over low patronage.

The Sheikh Gumi market in the state capital, according to them, was unusually dry unlike other festive seasons; a situation traders attribute to the current economic recession in the country.

Residents lamented over the high cost of rice, which has moved from about 9,000 Naira to nothing less than 17,500. They equally complained that a live chicken now goes for about 4,000 Naira as against prices from last year’s Christmas.

They believe that the ban on importation of rice is the reason for the hike in prices and therefore, called on the government to relax the ban on rice and other essential commodities in order to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.

This request is not coming as something new, as residents in some other states such as Ondo, as well as Ekiti states protested the hike which led to a forceful reduction in price of some commodities.

In November, Ekiti state monarchs under the Council of Traditional Rulers, in conjunction with Market Women Association of Nigeria ensured the reduction in prices.

Speaking to Channels Television, some residents expressed that they are left with no choice than to celebrate the yuletide in ‘low key’, due to lack of money and high cost of goods in the market.

Although some have complained bitterly about the situation, many others still believe that celebrating Christmas to herald the birth of Jesus Christ is a must, regardless of the economic situation.

Customs Discover Bags Of Plastic Rice, Warns Nigerians To Be Vigilant

Customs, Plastic Rice, NigerianThe Nigerian Customs Service in Lagos, has uncovered 102 bags of plastic rice imported into the country.

According to the Federal Operations Unit ”Zone A” of the service, the smugglers had planned to cash in on the rush for the staple food during the festive season.

Comptroller of the Unit, Mr Haruna Mamudu, told journalists that his men are working to unravel how the products came into the country.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have been warned to also be extra vigilant as they purchase consumables ahead of the yuletide.

Since recession hit Africa’s largest economy, there has been an upsurge in the cost of the staple food from about 12,000 Naira per bag of rice to over double that amount.

Rice Exportation

As a way of seeking solutions to the recession, the federal government, as well as several economic analysts, suggested a ban on the importation of such products which the nation’s farmers can produce, though not in sufficient quantity.

The government said it can no longer sustain the importation of foreign rice which has continued to hamper the growth and development of the nation’s peasant farmers who are into local production.

The increase in prices has pushed many to resort to smuggling of rice to be able to sell cheaper to Nigerians.

The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is one of the initiatives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that has immensely supported farmers in the local production of rice.

Based on the yields so far, Acting Director, Corporate Communication, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, had however said that before the end of 2017, Nigeria will begin to export rice to other countries.