Don’t panic, LASG advises Lagosians on food prices

Lagosians have been advised not to panic following reports that trucks conveying food from the North are stuck on the way.

. . . Improved Tolling System Coming At Lekki Plaza.

Lagosians have been advised not to panic following reports that trucks conveying food from the North are stuck on the way.

There is no need for anxiety, Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso , has assured Lagosians, saying food security is guaranteed, despite the crisis.

Speaking as guest on “Daily Digest with Jimi Disu”, a programme on Nigerian Info 99.3FM, on Tuesday, Omotoso said the government was not ignorant of the food supply situation and assured citizens that it would not be allowed to become a crisis.

Asked what the government was doing about the matter, he replied: “The government is aware of the situation and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is on top of it. He has initiated steps to ensure the matter is resolved by the weekend”.

Told that the situation should not go on till the weekend as food prices were rising, the Commissioner replied: “I assure you Governor Sanwo-Olu is on top of the matter. There will be a meeting. He will tell both sides to embrace peace in the interest of all.’’ He also urged residents to “take it easy” as Lagos State would continue to put facilities in place to ensure self-sufficiency in food production and supply.

The crisis emanated from the clash of traders in Ibadan. Food and cattle merchants from the North have withheld supplies, an action that has sparked rising prices. Lagos consumes at least 50% of agricultural products in Nigeria.

On the return of Lekki Concession Company(LCC) to the Lekki Toll Gate, the Commissioner said that contrary to the misconception in some circles, the facility will not resume tolling soon, considering its destruction during the #ENDSARS riots.

He envisaged that it would take months before the toll gate could be put in shape for full operations. “Even then, there will be a better tolling system, with the use of technology,” Omotoso said. He said repairs would leverage technology for better travel experience to eliminate time wastage and what the anchor of the programme, Mr. Jimi Disu, describes as “stress”.

Omotoso assured Lagosians that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu would not do anything to make Lagosians uncomfortable – in reply to a question that the toll gate was “causing stress”.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.