The Lagos State Government (LASG) says its Makeshift Neighbourhood Food Market has achieved the objective of enabling residents to access farm produce without much trouble as the State continue to observed the lockdown directive in the fight against the spread to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal who disclosed this today during an inspection tour of the Ramadan Edition of the Makeshift Neigbourhood Markets in company of the Hon. Kehinde Joseph, Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, Lagos State House of Assembly, at Local Government Primary School, Idimu and Ejigbo Nursery and Primary, Orilowo, Ejigbo in Lagos.
Lawal said the state government was satisfied with the success rate of the 27 COVID-19 Makeshift Markets originally created to reduce the economic impact of the Corona virus pandemic on Lagosians.
He explained that with the establishment of these markets, a lot of Lagosians have been provided the opportunity to access food produce including vegetables, perishable goods and even fast consumer products especially those needed for the Ramadan fast.
“This is Orilowo Ejigbo Nursery and Primary School in Ejigbo LCDA under the Oshodi Isolo Local Government. This is the fourth and Ramadan edition of the Lagos emergency makeshift markets or neighborhood markets, so to say.
“So far, we are happy with the success rate. We are happy that the makeshift markets have given the opportunity to a lot of Lagosians to be able to access markets without much trouble,” Lawal noted.
The commissioner stated that the price of products at the markets were very competitive and cheaper than what obtains in the open markets which have contributed greatly to the level of patronage recorded.
According to him, the makeshift markets were created to reduce the economic burden that the COVID-19 pandemic triggered and provide access to market as they observe the total lockdown in the state.
“The markets were satisfactorily serving that purpose such that the open markets that were supposed to be the major point of call for people are now recording lower patronage especially in line with the social distancing guidelines of the government of Governor Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu,” the Commissioner opined.
Lawal explained that though the economy of Lagos was important, the protection of lives is more important adding that government would continue to do all within its power to ensure that it citizens are safe.
He pointed out that the public health order would continually be at the front burner as a matter of urgency hence it was important that people are aware of the essence of social distancing so that the whole of the country understand the seriousness of the pandemic.
“From the feedbacks we are getting, we want to see how we can come up with some strategy that can make Lagosians adapt to the pandemic in terms of social distancing.
“Looking at everyone here, we all have our facemasks and I am sure you heard the governor speak to it that from next week, we will have to compel everyone to wear facemasks,” Lawal said.
Also, Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Kehinde Joseph urged resident to be patient with the state government and comply with the total lockdown and social distancing directives.
He said the lockdown and social distancing directive were in the interest of the people hence they must continue to comply in order to achieve the desired success.
Joseph commended the state government through the ministry of agriculture for setting up the emergency market which shows the importance that the government attached to welfare of the people.
He said the markets were well organised in compliance with the social distancing rule, use of face mask and as well as personal hygiene directive of the government and the National Centre for Disease Control.
“When I got here this morning, I walked round to see the quality of items here and sincerely speaking, everything here is well organised. There is nothing a family or an individual need that is not available for purchase in the market.
“From food stuff to poultry products, fish, pepper and beverages and other every day item are on display and the prices are very good and competitive,” he said.
Joseph said he has distributed hand sanitisers, food items and cash donations to residents of Alimosho constituency as well as educate them on the importance of social distancing since the virus was first report in the country in February.
He said he has also carried out enlightenment campaign on the seriousness of COVID-19 and the need for the people to adhere to all the guideline listed by the state government.
“As a member of the house of assembly, I have distributed food stuff and made cash donations to people in my constituency to ameliorate the stuffing during the lockdown and I will continue to support them.
“I will continue to tell our people to be patient with the government and observe social distancing rule because the situation is serious.
“ Yesterday, we have 117 positive cases of COVID-19 in the country, the highest so far and the number keeps increasing until it comes to a time that we will have a flat curve.
“Then I believe the government will relax on the lockdown.
“ Personally, I do not pray that it happens but with the eagerness that our people want us to relax the lockdown, I pray we will not find ourselves in what happened in Italy, Spain, America and some of the European countries,” Joseph averred.
In the same vein, the Iyaloja, Olugbede Modern market in Egbeda, Alimosho Local government, Mrs. Easter Adebamowo commended the government for supporting her members with the emergency food market.
Adebamowo said farmers have been educated on the need to maintain social distancing rule in the marke, and avoid crowded environment.
“We have told our members that they should maintain social distancing and also avoid crowd in the market.
“We have told them that market starts from 10:00am and ends at 2:00pm every other day. “We are trying to reduce the crowd in our markets in line with the government directive,” she said.