The Akwa Ibom State government has issued a 31-day ultimatum to traders to reduce the cost of foodstuff in the market across the state or face the dissolution of their market unions.
The order was given in a letter issued to the various market unions by the Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Traders’ Matters, Raphael Idorenyin.
Idorenyin, in the letter, accused the unions of taking undue advantage of the poor economic situation in the country to inflate prices of foodstuffs, thereby causing unnecessary hardship among the people.
The governor’s aide later featured on an AKBC radio programme to explain how the unions were allegedly responsible for the high prices of foodstuffs in the markets.
He said: “Garri is selling between N30,000 and N22,000 per bag in the state, but if you go outside Akwa Ibom garri is sold between N18, 000 and N17, 000. The union doesn’t allow people who are not their members to sell garri in bags in the market.
“If you are not their member and you bring in bags of garri into the market, they will seize them from you.
“If you look at it, there are no Customs duties on garri, and garri is not purchased with dollars, so it is the union that is causing the price increase.
“We will not continue to fold our hands and watch them do this; the unions must give traders the free hand to sell their goods.
“Another example is crayfish. If you travel to Aba (in Abia State) you’ll discover that crayfish is cheaper there than in Akwa Ibom, and the traders from Aba are buying from here. It is because of the union.”
Idorenyin added that the government would do whatever it takes to break the monopoly that the unions were trying to create in the markets.
Hope it works because the masses are suffering....
News Focus: The Government Of Akwa Ibom State Issues A 31-Day Ultimatum To Traders To Reduce Price Of Foodstuffs In The Market.
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