Scarcity of the Lagos-Kebbi States collaboration brand of local rice, popularly known as `LAKE Rice’, has hit the Lagos markets, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
NAN correspondents’ visits to some of the major markets and distribution outlets within the state showed that there were no LAKE Rice on display or in stock for sale to consumers.
Some retail traders at major markets and distributors of the product told NAN that they had yet to restock after exhausting the stocks they had in October.
One of the distributors, Mrs. Augustina Nwanze, said she was still expecting new stock which she had ordered since October.
“I paid for new stock of the product but unfortunately they had yet to be delivered.
“Once I receive a phone call from Alausa to come and pick the products, I will go and pick them.
“The delivery is usually on first come first served basis, so I am waiting for my turn,” Nwanze said.
Another distributor, Mrs. Bimbo Ogun, said she ran out of stock early November.
“Since then, I have been waiting for new supplies from the state secretariat. The product (LAKE Rice) is not readily available like the foreign rice.
“The state government is still fine-tuning ways to flood the market with the product.
“I have been telling my customers to be patient, as the product will soon be available, especially since it is festive season,” she said.
Ogun explained that she sold the rice along with the other goods, saying that now that the product is not available, other goods have been sustaining her.
A senior member of staff in the state Ministry of Agriculture who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the product was not available now for sale to the public.
“There has been some logistics challenge which accounted for the delay and scarcity of the rice.
“However, the ministry is working hard to make sure that the product is available, especially during the festive season.
“For now, we are appealing to the distributors and customers to bear with us.
“A 50kg bag of LAKE Rice sells for N12,000; 25kg at N6,000; and 10kg goes for N3,000,’’ he said.
Source: Punch Newspaper