The Lagos State Government has set up makeshift neighborhood food markets across the state as part of measures to promote social distancing to curb the further spread of novel coronavirus, Covid-19.
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday had directed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Lagos starting on Sunday (yesterday) to allow the state carry out a comprehensive disinfection of the metropolis.
The governor had also said that total lockdown of the state was imminent if the rising cases of those infected with the virus continued.
The announcement had been trailed by bulk panic buying among Lagosians trying to save for what they thought would be dry days ahead.
However, speaking on Sunday in Ikeja, the state’s government capital, Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal Lawal, said the state government has established emergency food markets in schools across the states.
Lawal, who spoke during an inspection tour to some of the markets around Ikeja GRA and in Ojota, explained that the emergency would help prevent panic buying as a result of the state’s lockdown directive.
It would also help families who cannot afford to buy in bulk to meet their nutritional demands, he added.
According to the commissioner, the markets would provide farm produce, beverages, fish, poultry products, bread and all other essentials at farm gate prices.
He said, “Today, we are flagging-off the emergency neighbourhood food markets setup by the State Government in selected schools to bring markets closer to the people.
“Essentially, what we are going to see here is how a market is brought closer to the community.
“We don’t want a situation where people have to travel far in public transportation thereby exposing to the danger of the spread of COVID-19.
“By the time people know there is a neighbourhood market within the area to which people can just walk 200 meters, they would be obliged to make use of such markets.”
Lawal also noted that the state Ministries of Agriculture and Health have put precautionary measures in place for the health and safety of the shoppers.
He called for strict adherence to these safety guidelines, adding that the markets would also be opened next Wednesday and Saturday for consumer shopping.
He reiterated the suppliers’ resolve to ensure constant supply of high-turnover consumer goods.