How Govt Can Overcome Payment Challenges At ‘Ounje Eko’ Markets – COSMOS Bread MD

Kunle Adelabu

Cosmos bread and other food items at the Zumratul Grammar School, igbogbo venue of the ‘Ounje Eko’ Food Discount Markets on Sunday

Mr Adebowale Adebiyi, Managing Director, COSMOS Bakery, Igbogbo, one of the vendors at the Zumratul Islamiyyah Grammar School, Igbogbo, a centre for the ‘Ounje Eko’ Food Markets in Ikorodu Division, has proferred way out of the challenges encountered at various centers when the social intervention initiative kicked off on Sunday.

A major challenge that adversely affected the the market arrangement and prevented many residents from buying their desired food items, was the difficulty posed by the payment platforms.

The COSMOS managing director, who supplied fresh breads, urged the government to allow the vendor to sell directly to consumers through vouchers or POS machine and thereafter, reconcile sales. He, however, commended the government for the initiative.

“First of all, the Lagos State Government meant well for this intervention which is to feed the masses with this scheme which allows people to buy some basic food items at a discounted rate”, Mr Adebiyi said.

“We are here to supply bread and as you are aware, bread is one of the staple foods in the country cutting across all classes – upper, middle and lower.

“As good as this initiative is, we just have only  one challenge which is the payment system. May be because it is the first edition and like every laudable scheme that were well thought out and planned for, there are always challenges at the kick off.

“You can see that people turned out en masse to benefit from the discount. For instance, the bread that we are selling for N1200 is being sold for N750 here. People wanted to buy bread and other food stuffs but the process of obtaining the voucher to make purchase from the vendors is somehow cumbersome”, he said.

“That is the only challenge I see, but that as it may, it is a laudable initiative.

“This is close to 5pm (on Sunday) and so far, I have been able to confirmed that only about 200 people have been able to obtain vouchers out of over 1000 people here”, he said.

Going forward, the COSMOS MD suggested ways out of the only challenge that prevented many residents from getting food items at the special markets and made them returned home with disappointment.

“I will suggest two ways out of this challenge. If every vendor could be given a booklet voucher which will be authorized adequately with counterfoil, with this, they sell directly to residents on the agreed prices and at the end,  they reconcile with the government officials. That would solve this problem”, COSMOS MD asserted.

“Secondly, they could provide us with our own POS and we will use the machine which would have been configured with the vendor and government’s arrangement to get payment from the residents. This is another way out”, he added.

“But the first suggestion is what I know would be the best way out of this logjam. The government should be able to provide us with voucher that is well secured and cannot be reproduced.

“Be that as it may, the programme is fine and I commend the government for this initiative. You can see that they are trying to provide foods for the people and also, you can see that people too are interested, that is why they are here in large numbers.

“It is only the cumbersomeness encountered with the voucher that is discouraging. There are many people that came from Church just to buy our bread but they went back home disappointed because they were unable to”, he said.

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