By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, has set up food markets in some selected schools as it embarked on social distancing in the effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, in the state.
This was a sequel to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directive that some school grounds be used as temporary markets as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In line with the directive, the Ministry of Agriculture set up sites for food and agricultural produce in selected schools across Local Governments in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this on Thursday, noted that the markets were set up to provide residents access to food supplies during the restriction period in order to prevent panic buying after the directive that all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities be closed.
Lawal outlined the Local Governments where the food and agricultural markets would be set up to include: Mushin, Alimosho, Surulere, Ikeja, Apapa, Lagos Mainland, Eti-Osa, Surulere and Ifako-Ijaiye Local Governments.
According to him, the schools identified for food and agricultural markets are – Bishop Aggrey Primary School, Ilasamaja; Ajenifuja Primary School, Ilupeju, Mushin; Papa Ajao Primary School, Ladipo Street, Mushin; Akin Ogun Primary School, Mosan; Meiran Community Primary School, Meiran; and Animashaun Primary School, Ijeshatedo off Omilani Street, Surulere.
Others are Ikeja Primary School, Ikeja; Opebi Primary School, Opebi, Ikeja; Anglican Primary School, Marine Beach, Apapa; St. Jude’s Primary School, Ebute- Metta; St. George’s Boys Primary School, Falomo; Community Grammar School, Adelabu, Surulere; Obele Secondary School, Adelabu, Surulere; Fagba Junior Grammar School, Ifako-Ijaiye; and Stadium High School, Ifako.
While assuring that the Ministry of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, has put in place safety guidelines at each of the temporary food and agricultural markets, Lawal called for strict adherence to safety measures by shoppers, and especially social distancing between visitors to the specified locations.
The commissioner stressed that there was no need for panic buying by members of the public since the food and agricultural markets have been put in place to make shopping easy, adding that officials of the Nigeria Police and Neighbourhood Watch would ensure the maintenance of law and order at the various markets.