Lagosians decry difficulty in buying Lake Rice

Isola Moses

Expectations are high, as some prospective buyers of the Lagos State-subsidised Lake Rice, Friday, December 20, 2019, expressed difficulty in getting the product for consumption, especially during the festive season.

Many potential buyers, who besieged the Agric Ojo State Warehouse, venue of the sales, alleged the Lagos State officials were making the rice challenging for them to buy.

One in the riotous crowd told the News Agency of Nigeria, in Lagos, that the plea by the officials that they had exhausted their stock was a ploy to disperse them for the officials to sell the product to whoever their wished.

The source reports that Mr. Femi Taire, an Islamic cleric, said the prospective buyers were becoming unruly because they felt that they were being cheated and sidelined by the officials.

Mr. Taire said, “I have been coming here since Tuesday without getting a bag to buy. All we hear are excuses that they are waiting for directive or the POS (Point of Sales Terminal) is malfunctioning.

However, he alleged that they would still “see people getting rice from here sold to them by these same officials going through the other door. It is frustrating.”

Mrs. Adebipe Dawudu, who said that she likes the Lake Rice brand because it is stone-free, said that the price was not too different from other Nigerian brands in the market.

Mrs. Dawudu stated, “my children do not like the stones experienced in some other local brands. It is the stone-free nature that makes the Lake brand looks as if it is special.

“This trouble getting this rice is too much, the officials seem to be the ones making it elusive to people because some big men are getting it from them.

“I saw one vehicle loaded with 40 bags of rice yesterday while we were still queuing for a bag. There are still bags of rice inside the warehouse as one can still see some bags from here,” she said.

The woman, who claimed she had been going to the warehouse since Tuesday, December 17, said that not up to 70 bags had been sold to people in the queue at N17,000 per bag since the sales began.

The source, however, observed that an official who was addressed as the sales manager, addressed the crowd, saying that the outfit had exhausted the number of bags of rice given to it to sell.

He said they were not hoarding the commodity as claimed by the prospective buyers. He rather advised them to wait for further directive to begin to sell.

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