May 30, 2024

Traders reject allegation of indiscriminate hike in prices of food items


•As FCCPC embarks on market surveillance

By Yinka Kolawole

Dealers in food items in selected markets across Lagos State have rejected the widespread accusations that they manipulate and inflate prices of food items indiscriminately.

They have, rather blamed the skyrocketing prices of food items on insecurity in many parts of the country which they said had hampered supplies from farmers across the country.

The accusations had led the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to embark on a fact finding missions to markets across the country.

Speaking in an interaction with the FCCPC mission yesterday, Chairman of Mile 12 International Perishable Market in Lagos, Alh. Shehu Usman, said: “Nobody is inflating anything. The reason for rising costs of food items is because most farmers have been chased away from the farms by bandits, and many of them are now in IDP camps.

“The only solution to this problem is for people to return to the farms. If you are not farming and you are not importing food, so, how do you get the food?

“The problem is enormous. The federal government should just make sure it provides enough security for people to continue farming. That is the only solution. As long as farmers are not able to go to the farms, food items will remain expensive.”

Chairman of Ile Epo Oke Odo Market, Alh. Taofik Olorunkemi, also told the FCCPC officials that insecurity is the major issue in the rising prices food items because the farmers are not able to go to the farms due to the menace of kidnapping.

He stated further, “Another reason for the food inflation is the increase in the price of petrol as a result the removal of fuel subsidy, which has led to increase in the cost of transportation.”