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Nasarawa Governor Sule seeks marketers support to tackle rising cost of food items

Governor Abdullahi Sule of has sought the support of members of the Nasarawa State Traders and Marketers Association towards mitigating the rising cost of food items.

Concerned with the prevailing economic hardships being experienced by the people, Governor Sule met with the traders and marketers association at the Government House on Tuesday.

The Governor decried a situation where traders purchase and hoard food items solely for profit maximization, urging members of the traders and marketing association to sensitize their members on the ills of hoarding food items, especially at the time like now when people are finding it difficult to feed.

According to the Governor, members of the association should be able to look inward with a view to supporting government and to alleviate the sufferings of the people.

He said even though his administration could not stop businessmen from coming into the state to buy food items, but the marketers have a role to play by ensuring they regulate the quantity of food items being exported outside the state.

Governor Sule identified hoarding as the major contributing factor in the recent rise in the cost of food items.

“It’s high time we come together to help ourselves. It’s inconsiderate for someone to hoard food items while waiting for the prices to soar before selling it. It’s even possible that at the time, such a person wants to sell his food items, he may lack buyers because of the scarcity of money. It’s not good for someone who bought a 50kg bag of sugar at N32, 000 to now turn around and sell it at N72, 000,” he said.

He urged members of the traders association to help government by stopping their members from hoarding food items.

“Stop hoarding food items. Hunger is ravaging the people. If we continue to hoard food items and people continue to die, we would answer before God,” he added.

On the part of government, Governor Sule disclosed various steps his administration is taking towards alleviating the plight of the people.

He announced that government has purchased some quantities of rice to be distributed across the state, procured a number of CNG vehicles to be commissioned aimed at reducing hardships associated with the rising cost of transportation.

The Governor further disclosed that his administration intends to buy food items from the marketers with a view to reselling it to the people at a reduced price.

He particularly called on the marketers to make available food items in their custody for government to buy, with a view to reselling it to the people at a discount.

On the complain by the marketers about frequent extortion by indigenous people demanding for payment of tax before vehicles conveying food items are allowed passage, the Governor promised to intervene into the matter but asked the marketers to always report such extortion to the relevant security agents.

Speaking, president, Nasarawa State Traders and Marketers Association, Musa Turaki-Gamji, said the union is touring the zones across the state to sensitise traders on supporting government’s plans to assuage the plight of the people.

Turaki-Gamji pointed out that the association has taken it upon itself to intervene by assisting the government towards reducing the hardships presently being faced by the people of the state and Nigeria as a whole.

While noting that Nasarawa was blessed with large amount of food produce last year, the marketers association president however decried that businessmen from Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and other places had siezed the opportunity of the food boom to buy and hoard the food items in faraway places leaving the people in hunger and starvation.

He assured that a special task force set up by the association has been going round markets in the state, sensitizing their members on the need to look inward and to avoid excessive profits margins, in order to alleviate the plight of the people.

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