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April 14, 2024
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Food Affordability: Lagos Working to Regulate Prices – Commissioner

The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, announced on Wednesday that the state government is actively addressing the regulation of food prices within the region.

Miss Olusanya made these remarks during an interview with newsmen at the Lekki Conservation Centre in Lagos, as part of the International Day of Forest Commemoration event. 

The program, entitled “Forest and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World,” was a collaborative effort between NAN, the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation.

“Food insecurity is not peculiar to us here in Lagos or Nigeria, it is all over.

“I was reading an article on food prices and how it has gone up dramatically in the UK and US. I don’t think there is any county in the world right now that has not had it.

“Economists globally are facing a major challenge, there is a recession and the dynamics of global trade has also changed and this is bringing about some insecurity particular about food.

“The question here in Nigeria is, ‘are we facing a food shortage or food affordability? Affordability is the issue because it is more of an affordability issue,” she said.

She said it was not that food was not available but the disposable income of individuals had diminished, which was the real issue.

“So, to say food insecurity, the food is there, affordability might be an issue around supply and demand, which now goes back to insecurity.

“For now as a state government, we understand where our challenges are and we understand where our competitive advantage is.

“If you focus on production only and you do not have an organised market, you might have an affordability issue which is what is going on, our markets are not regulated,” she said.

Miss Olusanya said, for instance, the petrol market was regulated in the sense that everything about it was recorded.

“There is no diesel or fuel that comes into the country that is not recorded. You know the volume, who brought it in, where it is being distributed to and the fuel stations it is going to.

“You cannot say the same for food, which is why middle men will take advantage and place prices and margins on food that has been produced by farmers.

“They push it to us at prices that we cannot afford, which is why as state government, we are working on organising our markets to ensure we can work and start price regulation.

“When we can control the flow then you can stem the price affordability issue,” she said.

She added that the Lagos State government was working assiduously on it, calling on other states to do the same.

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