To ensure even and fair distribution of Lake Rice across Lagos, the State Government has sought the participation of major rice distributors in Lagos, with the signing of a partnership agreement with distributors for its transportation, distribution and marketing.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Ganiyu Okanlawon, who signed the partnership agreement on behalf of the State, said the agreement will ensure that residents get Lake Rice not just from designated sales centres, but also from the open market at the official government price.
Okanlawon explained that the agreement, which is valid for one year in the first instance, may be extended by mutual agreement in writing for additional period. It involves major distributors in various rice markets in the state, which have the capacity to receive and distribute large tonnes of Lake Rice during and after the yuletide season.
“The distributors shall transport and market Lake Rice, engage in equitable distribution of the product by avoiding hoarding, and other sharp practices, and ensuring all year round continuous and equitable distribution of Lake Rice”, he said.
While noting the need to ensure availability of the product to citizens is key in the state’s drive to attain food sufficiency, the Special Adviser said food production and self-sufficiency have been given priority attention at State’s policy and strategic level.
Okanlawon, who implored the distributors not to default in the agreement, assured them of Government’s commitment to keep its end of the bargain.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Olayiwole Onasanya, urged all parties to co-operate with each other for execution of the scheme.
He added the Government will verify claims of address and warehouse or shops of the distributors, approve all business plans before implementation, and conduct regular monitoring visits with respect to capacity and effectiveness of the distributor.
Responding on behalf of the distributors, the Iyaloja of Daleko Rice Market, Mrs. Ibilola Sholaja, thanked the State for the opportunity given to distributors to be part of history in the sale of Lake Rice.
She assured that distributors will abide by the terms of the agreement.