Kano anti-graft agency seals warehouses for allegedly hoarding food items

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Muhuyi Rimingado

KANO Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission on Wednesday sealed warehouses suspected to be hoarding food items and essential commodities in the state.

The Chairman of the Commission, Mr Muhuyi Rimingado, in a statement on Wednesday in Kano, listed the commodities to include 19, 500 bags of flour and 5, 120 bags of sugar.

Others are, 79, 645 cartons of spaghetti and 37, 000 cartons of pasta.

Rimingado said that the items were seized at the ‘Singer market’ sequel to a raid conducted by the operatives of the commission.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commission had earlier directed traders involved in a unilateral hike in prices of food items to sell them at regulated prices or risk forfeiture.

Rimingado said the commission also uncovered fraudulent activities by some traders, who wretched taking advantage of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic to hoard and inflate prices of food and essential commodities.

“Hoarding and unnecessary hike in prices of food items is capable of undermining government efforts to stem the pandemic and breach the security of the state.

“This action (hoarding and unauthorised hike in prices of goods) is a crime, under the provisions of Regulation 11 (2) (3) and (4) of the Kano State Public Health (Infectious Disease) Regulations 2020.

“The action is capable of undermining the security of the state to the fact that a lot of Islamic clerics (Ulama) have been making reference to it in their Ramadan fast lectures.

“This is in accordance with Section 39 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Law,’’ he said.

Rimingado noted that sequel to the raid, the leadership of the traders’ associations and the commission had agreed to peg the price of sugar at N16, 000 per 50kg bag.

He said that the agreement entails giving a waiver to the ”Singer market” during the lockdown to be supplying essential commodities to neighbourhood markets, to deal with scarcity and control prices.

While sealed stores would be allowed to dispose of their goods and a supply channel be maintained from the manufacturers namely Dangote and Bua Groups to the retailers.

Traders and markers were also expected to observe prevention protocols in their respective business premises during the approved transaction period.

NAN also reports that Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje had earlier expressed concern over hoarding and hike in the prices of food commodities in the state.

Ganduje lamented that dealers and traders of food and essential commodities in the state were selling at 100 percent hike.

The governor also confirmed at a briefing on COVID-19 on Saturday that two major manufacturers of essential commodities had informed him that they did not approve any price increase on their products. (NAN)

– May 6, 2020 @ 12:25 GMT |

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