Yobe govt, traders differ on foodstuffs’ prices

There is concern among farmers and grain traders in Yobe State following the state government’s announcement of plans to stop hoarding of grains and other essential commodities in markets across the state.

The state government also stated that bulk purchases from Yobe markets would be closely monitored by security agents to prevent and stop hoarding, in order to curtail artificial scarcity and price hikes of such commodities.

“The purchase and transportation of large quantities of grains outside the state will be monitored to ensure that speculators and hoarders do not take advantage of Yobe market to cause artificial scarcity and deepen food insecurity in the country,” the state government had said.

A 24-man committee, headed by the Deputy Governor, Idi Barde Gubana, was inaugurated to halt exporting, hoarding, and artificial food scarcity.

The committee is tasked to coordinate with security agencies to sell procured grains to the public at subsidized prices and advise the government on other necessary measures to address food insecurity in the state.

Speaking after the inauguration, Gubana stated that, “some unscrupulous elements are seriously trying to undermine our serenity by causing additional hardship to the people through unnecessary bulk purchase and hoarding of staple foods.”

However, some grain traders expressed concerns that those measures would only affect their businesses and customers from neighboring countries like Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, without significantly reducing food prices in Nigeria.

They cited factors such as increased production and transportation costs due to rising prices of fertilizers, fuel, and other inputs, as well as high transportation costs from neighboring states.

The traders argued that those were the main reasons for the high prices of foodstuff, rather than hoarding.

In response, the Commissioner for Information and Culture in the state, Abdullahi Bego, stated that the steps were taken to provide temporary relief to the people, with hopes for improvement in the future.

Source:

Business – Daily Post Nigeria