PRESIDENT-General, Ochanja Market, Benson Ojukwu has cautioned traders against hiking prices of commodities since government announced a stay-at-home order.
“Do not hide behind panic buying by consumers, caused by fears over Coronavirus pandemic to hike prices of commodities,” Chief Ojukwu said this while being interviewed by Information officers.
“I totally condemn this. It is a bad attitude of some traders who seize the opportunity to acquire ill-gotten wealth for themselves”.
The PG admonished them to desist from such acts that would be capable of imposing more hardships on ndiAnambra at this trying period.
“I visit the market regularly since the shut-down to ensure that nobody violates the state government order imposed to control the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.”
Chief Ojukwu enjoined traders complaining and itching to reopen the market to obey the government and stay at home because the virus is real.
He commended Gov. Willie Obiano, whose foresight and early proactive measures had helped in preventing the virus from entering the state so far.
One of the market patrons, Prince Samuel Achebe also condemned the attitude of some traders, who inflict unnecessary hardship on consumers by increasing price of their commodities.
He emphasised that the traders should learn to obey government orders and to be their brothers’ keepers in all circumstances.
Some food stuff dealers bared their minds on reasons behind the increase in prices.
A garri seller, who identified herself simply as Anulika said that the increase in prices of garri had nothing to do with Coronavirus outbreak but that this was because of commencement of rains that compelled farmers to go back to the farms.
According them, there are just a few hands left to engage in processing of garri that had created shortage in supplies to the markets.
The sellers claimed that before the rains, they used to source supplies from IsseleUkwu at the cost of N12, 000.00 for 800 bags but as at then, the same bags cost above N20,000.00.
Anulika said she hardly purchased up to 20 bags then, saying that it was usual for prices to increase at this time of the year.
Another trader who deals in provisions and toiletries, MrKelechiOdiri noted that the increase was because of closures of some manufacturing companies as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19.