The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, on Monday said the state was not feeling any effect of food shortage.
He noted that the government had also not been officially informed of any decision to withdraw supplies to the state.
According to him, trailers of foodstuffs have been coming from other parts of the country into the state through the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Omotosho urged residents not to panic, adding that the state was also making efforts to attain self-sufficiency in food production.
He said, “We have not been told officially that some people in the North are withdrawing food supplies to the South-West or Lagos. And you know that Lagos is consuming no less than 50 per cent of what is being produced in other parts of the country.
“However, Lagos is preparing for the future. Very soon, we will be inaugurating the Imota Rice Mill, which will be the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa. All our agric programmes are tailored towards food self-sufficiency in the future.
“Farmers are being encouraged; we give them land to farm and we are also acquiring land in other states to farm so that our programmes in farming will not be starved of materials.
“Our fishing programme very soon will be on. Lagos has one of the best coastal beds in the world. In our waters, we have all kinds of fish that will be canned in the future. The future of agric in Lagos is great and the government is encouraging young people to go into it. So, there is no need for anybody to panic over what anybody may have seen as some people saying they will not supply food. I have not seen anything official on that. If there is anything like a shortage, I have not seen the effect and I hope we will not see it.”
Traders allege extortion, harassment, say leaders summoned by DSS for questioning
In a related development, the Department of State Services has allegedly invited the President, Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, Mohammed Tahir, over the nationwide strike declared by the union.
The General- Secretary of the AUFCDN, Ahmed Alaramma, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, on Monday, said Tahir was with the DSS.
Alaramma alleged that the military personnel were intimidating members and task force of the union, advising the government to avert looming chaos by stopping the intimidation of their members.
He stated that they were invited by the DSS on Monday morning, and “our president is with the DSS and as we speak, he is being questioned at the DSS headquarters.”
He stated, “Our members were being molested and intimidated. We reject what the Nigerian Army has done to our task force. We assure our members across the country that our strike goes on; we will never give up.”
He regretted that the Federal Government had not invited them for negotiation, but added that the Kogi State Government had reached out to the union leadership.
Alaramma complained about the multiple taxation of their members and extortion by security agencies, including the Army, police, and hoodlums on the highways.
He pointed out that before a truckload of cows from Adamawa got to its destination in the South-West, South-East or South-South, “he (driver)would have spent about N250,000 on settling security agencies.”
Meanwhile, normalcy on Monday returned to Jebba, as youths who blocked truck loads of food and cattle from going to the south, were dispersed by military personnel.
Confirming the reopening of the road, Prince Ibrahim Adebara, son of the traditional ruler of Jebba, said soldiers drafted to the area ensured free movement of vehicles.