Stakeholders in the food sector, on Saturday, January 28, called on the federal government to urgently address inflation and the high cost of food stuffs in order to curb poverty in the country.
The stakeholders made the call at the first edition of the Alimosho Food Festival held at the Youth Centre, in Alimosho, Lagos.
According to organizers of the festival, Sunquest Discovery Limited, the festival was organized to give opportunities to vendors to showcase their products as well as allow consumers to purchase food at cheaper rates against the high cost in the market.
Chairman, Sunquest Discovery Limited, Lawal Isiaka, said Alimosho, being the largest local government in Lagos State was chosen because of its high population, as it would afford more people the opportunity to benefit from the event.
Lawal added that high cost of food as well as food shortage have become a problem in Nigeria, which should be addressed by the government.
He called on the government to tackle the problem so as to make life easier for Nigerians.
He noted that the festival also afforded the organizers the opportunity to test run an application, which would allow food vendors to market their goods online.
Commenting on why only 22 vendors were at the exhibition this year, the Chairman said the first edition was meant to test run the concept, adding that a more bigger space and more vendors would be encouraged for the next edition of the festival.
Lawal also thanked all Sunquest Discovery Ltd partners namely; Zenith Bank, BrandRus and MMS events for making the Alimosho Food Festival a fruitful reality.
One of the food vendors, Mrs Omoluyi Esther, who deals in sales of local food commended the organizers for putting together the event.
She lamented the daily increase in food materials, which she said is affecting many companies involved in food production.
“As a small scale business owner, there are challenges we are facing such as daily increases in prices of food.
“Today you buy something for N200 and tomorrow it goes up to N500. Government should try to make sure there is money in circulation and bring down prices of food stuffs. In that way, they can address food scarcity,” she said.
Another food vendor, Mrs Adekunle Olamide of Checkers Food, said for the government to reduce poverty, “it should help to reduce prices of goods.
“They should make sure there is stability in the economy. The instability is affecting all brands and they are finding it hard to get materials for production. When they increase prices of their goods, it’s the consumers that bear the brunt. So the government should help us stabilize Nigeria’s economy so that brands will find it easier to produce,” she urged.
On his part, Special Guest of the event and Nollywood star, Joseph Momodu, commended the quality of food on display at the festival.
“The kind of food you see here, you might need to order them online before you get them but this event offers people the opportunity to get them at their doorsteps and cheaper. The festival is of great significance to everyone,” he noted.
He added; “There is hunger in the land. The government should help us subsidize food stuffs to the nearest minimum to make food available. They should also control inflation, especially the dollar scarcity so that the common man can do his or her business. They promised us that dollar will go down but it’s not so now. Government should do their business so that the masses can enjoy.”
Earlier, Creative Director for the event, Adekoya Afeez, commended the vendors for the quality of food products exhibited at the event and promised the festival will also be taken to other parts of the state.