Many rice dealers and retailers in Lagos State and other places are still in shock over the disappearance of LAKE RICE, which used to be visible in markets during the festive period from 2016 when the state government under Governor Akinwunmi Ambode signed a partnership with his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.
The MoU between the Kebbi and Lagos governments for the supply of LAKE (an acronym of Lagos and Kebbi) RICE was birthed in 2016.
But no sooner than Ambode left that the project suffered a serious setback and, as at today, there are indications that the MoU between the two states had collapsed.
The agreement was meant to be mutually beneficial as Kebbi is famous for rice production and Lagos has a huge market.
Those behind the initiative said it was meant to create a value chain whereby thousands of farmers in Kebbi would be involved while merchants in Lagos would have unfettered access to the produce.
Market or politics?
While some officials said the stoppage of the partnership was a temporary setback, others said political intrigues were responsible.
According to some of them, the purported rift between Bagudu, who is the Chairman of APC Governors Forum, and the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, affected the MoU, while others said the initiative could not last because of market forces.
The rice, which was sold at N12,000 and N6,000 for 50kg and 25kg bags respectively, was largely embraced by residents of Lagos and other states in the South-West that usually thronged the many sale points. (DailyTrust)