Residents excited as Sanwo-Olu’s ‘Ounje Eko’ kicks off

Lagos residents have lauded the ‘Ounje Eko’ initiative introduced by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration as part of efforts to cushion the economic hardship.

The governor, on February 22, announced some interventions to ameliorate the prevailing economic crisis on residents. One of the measures is the ‘Ouje Eko’ initiative where residents can buy foodstuff at discounted prices. The initiative will run for about five Sundays.

Our correspondent, who visited Alimosho Local Government Area, Egbe-Idimu LCDA and Mosan-Okunola LCDA, reports that residents were at the venue as early as 9am, though activities didn’t kick off until 11am.

Staples at the markets were rice, beans, bread, egg, garri, pepper and onion. The vouchers are colour-coded to differentiate the produce, while residents who come with cash will have their cash exchanged for debit cards (Opay, Palmpay, Cowrie cards).

Chief Moshood Alase, a resident of Egbe-Idimu, commended the government for bringing the initiative. He urged Governor Sanwo-Olu to ensure its continuity because, according to him, it is a big relief to people whose purchasing power has dwindled.

He also admonished other people to be orderly and adhere to instructions of officials coordinating affairs at the centre.

Another resident, Osho Yetunde, hailed the organized process and the initiative. She described it as sustainable and said she would return again next week.

An egg vendor at Egbe-Idimu, Mrs. Julie Ukwenga, who represented the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), described the initiative as ‘a very good one’. She also praised the Lagos State government for helping both the residents and vendors.

“This will boost our business because we are able to sell directly to consumers, and we are not losing out. Our produce leave the shelve promptly. I will advise residents to key into this good initiative while it lasts because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Kudos to the Lagos State government for bringing this,” she added.

Coordinator of the Egbe-Idimu centre, Mrs. Noimot Akinola, a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, promised to ensure a hitch-free exercise. She also clarified the purchase process to residents for better understanding.

“We have produce here to be sold to residents. However, payment will be through the POS and they get vouchers which will be presented to the vendors. For those who will bring cash, we have payment solution officials who will convert their cash to card so they can purchase their goods. There is also a limit to what can be bought – Rice, beans and garri (5kg), bread (two loaves), pepper and onion (1kg) and tomato (2kg).”

Chairman of the council, Kunle Sanyaolu-Olowoopejo described the fair as ‘meticulously organised’. He promised that the council will support the state government’s initiative by bringing its own produce to distribute freely to residents.

“With what we have seen here security wise, we will bring our produce here as from next Sunday but we will be giving residents

“I laud the state government for this initiative, and appeal to residents to allow the seamless process continue. Everyone will get to buy if only we are patient enough. I have also discouraged those who should not be here to please allow those who really need the produce to get them.

“When we come next week, we will ensure only those who need it get it.”

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