The decision of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to sell Lake Rice at N17,000 per 50kg bag has drawn anger of Lagosians.
They described the action of the governor as not only insensitive but also inhuman.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, flagged off the commencement of sales of the rice on Tuesday in preparation for the coming yuletide celebrations.
Lawal said that Lake Rice is available for sale in centres across the State including the Agricultural Development Authority Complex, Oko-Oba; Lagos State Agriculture Inputs Supply Authority, Ojo and the Blue Roof at LTV Complex, Agidingbi, Ikeja.
Other centres, as announced by the commissioner, include the Lake Rice Sales Centre at Farm Service Centre, Epe; Odogunyan Farm Service Centre, Ikorodu; Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere; Farm Centre, Ajah, Government Technical School, Ikotun; Farm Service Centre, Badagry and the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park, Yaba.
Fifty kilogram bag of the rice, which used to be sold at N12,000 during former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s time, will now cost residents N17,000, while the 25kg bag will be sold for N8,500.
Although, the commissioner warned that the commodity should not be sold above the approved prices, the over 41% increase in the price of the 50kg drew criticism from residents.
Some of them, who commented on the statement posted by the state government on its Facebook page about the price increases, said the government does not have the interest of the masses at heart.
A respondent, with the name, Monenoye Ogungbure, wondered why the price should move up to N17,000 from the N12,000 it was being sold earlier.
“What Lagos state is doing is very bad. Why should they increase the price of this rice, it was sold last at rate of N12,000 naira only. Why are they increasing it now? The government is not considering the poor masses at all. They are very self centered. What are they doing in order to help less privileges people,?”
Oladeji Idowu, who spoke in line with Ogungbure, said the state government has no excuse for the increase.
“The rice that was sold for N12000 sometimes has grown up to N17000. What will the government tell us is the cause of the increase.”
Akodu Adeshina Abdurazak, on his part, wants the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate the price increase, which he described as ‘total nonsense.’
“I don’t even know when Lagosians will enjoy the dividend of democracy in this present government. I personally believe that lake rice should come down to N10,000 because other local rice are been sold for N11,000 and N12,000 which means that government are not ready to subsidize anything to make life easy for the poor masses they claimed to represent. This is total nonsense and EFCC need to investigate this.”
For Adam Ogbogu, “they should keep it for themselves. It’s not worth it if it’s selling at market price.”
Steve Madumere simply said, “Criminals, 419 government, why 17k?”
Meanwhile, Mr Lawal said that the government would continue to ensure adequate production and fair distribution of Lake Rice with a view to ensuring its availability to the masses in the various designated sales centres across the State.