By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
It has become a daring situation as food prices continue to skyrocket, and poor Nigerians baring the brunt amid the ravaging Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, as accessibility and affordability of staples are now big challenges across the country, with starvation gradually setting in, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, SWEER Global Farms, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, Dr Thaddaeus Thompson, Friday, called on the Federal Government as a matter of urgency start enforcement of laws on reduction of food prices to salvage the situation.
Thompson who is passionate on changing the narrative of food production in Nigeria spoke with concern about the scourging and biting food prices that have made it difficult for Nigerians to feed their families as a result of factors responsible for it said it is now time for government to move fast to commence enforcement of laws that have been enacted for the purpose of protecting vulnerable Nigerians as far as food accessibility and availability are concerned.
According to him, he wants the government to fix prices on farm produce as it is done is some other countries so citizens can access food, and any erring seller or company of the law should face the penalty.
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He said: “The only way to stop price hiking on food is to place a fixed price on produce per kilogram, litre, or centimetre, accordingly. The Nigerian government must learn from countries in the developed world, where laws and penalties are instated and enforced against unnecessary price hikes.
“A law against price hike and hoarding will protect the interest of consumers as well as producers. There must be penalties in the form of fines to control deliberate price hikes and hoarding.”
He also added that, “I believe these laws exist in Nigeria. They must be enforced. Nigeria has the same laws as most of the advanced countries. The problem is that in Nigeria laws are not enforced or only partially enforced.
However, the SWEER Global boss asserted that, “The blame for this, lies on both the government and its citizens because, the government avoids enforcing the law for fear of backlash, whereas the citizen violently opposes the law.
“In a situation whereby price increase is inevitable, the government can still allow it but for a fixed period.”
It has been a tough situation for Nigerians, especially those who are vulnerable to afford basic food for their families, it now behooves on government to explore different ways to intervene in the pathetic situation and avert looming food crisis.