Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, on Wednesday launched the much awaited Lagos-Kebbi Rice (LAKE Rice), saying an individual would only be allowed to buy a bag so it could go round.
The governor, who initiated the rice along with his Kebbi State colleague, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, added that the collaboration which culminated into the production of the rice was planned to guarantee food security and showcase the ability of Nigeria to become a producing nation.
The governor said, “Today is a historic day for Lagos and Kebbi states. In March 2016, we came together with an understanding that we want to come out with what is made in Nigeria. This partnership will, in the nearest future, lead to an expansion of production of the rice.
“While the 50 kilogrammes of Lake Rice will sell for N12,000, 25kg will go for N6,000 and 10kg for N2,500. For now, an individual will only be allowed to purchase a bag to enable it to go round.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi states, saying the Federal Government had donated two rice mills to the states to increase the production of rice next year.
Also speaking, Bagudu, said the partnership was a confirmation of both state governments’ commitment to the agenda of making Nigeria a big market in Africa.
He said while Kebbi State had comparative advantage in the area of rice production, Lagos could boast the largest consumption market.
“I am proud of this joint venture. We can do more with other commodities like cocoa, soya beans and sorghum,” Bagudu said.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Ganiyu Sanni, said the rice would be collected after payment at designated banks or through Point Of Service payment, while an individual would only be allowed to buy one bag at a time.
Sanni said the rice would be available for sale in Lagos East Senatorial District at the Odogunyan Farm Service Centre in Ikorodu, Temu Farm Service Centre in Epe, Naforiji Town Hall in Eredo, Magbon Alade School in Ibeju and SUBEB premises in Maryland.
The Special Adviser to the Governor said the rice would be available for sale in Lagos West at LSADA Farm Service Centre, Oko-Baba in Agege, LAISA in Ojo, Coconut House in Mowo, Farm Service Centre, Marina, in Badagry and Ikeja Grammar School in Oshodi.
According to him, in Lagos Central, the rice will be available for sale at Agric Area Office in Ajah, LASTMA Works Yard in Adeniji/Freeman, Lagos Island, Alakoto Senior High School, Tolu in Ajegunle, Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere and Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre (Rowe Park) in Yaba.
He said officials of the committee set up by government to monitor the sale would be present at all the centres from Tuesday, while payment could be made to bank officials at the centres, after which the product would be given to buyers.
He said, “We are about 22 million people in Lagos State and we believe there is a need for the government to make sure that every individual is given the opportunity to buy the rice as promised earlier so that at this time of the Yuletide, everybody can have opportunity to buy because the prices of the rice elsewhere are exorbitant.”