• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Traders blame subsidy removal for food price hike as FCCPC visits Osun markets

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Traders and consumers at Olufi Market in Ayedaade Local Government and Ifon Market in Orolu Local Government of Osun State have said the hike in food prices in the markets are direct results of petrol subsidy removal. The said this during a fact-finding mission survey conducted by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) in the state.

The FCCPC has been engaging in fact-finding interactions with Traders’ Associations and Marketers across the country to ascertain factors responsible for the continuous hike in food prices.

During the fact finding in the two markets, Janet Odo, FCCPC South-West Zonal Coordinator, explained that the aim of the commission was to engage directly with distributors, wholesalers, and retailers in order to ascertain the root causes of the rapid increase in food prices across Nigeria.

According to Odo, the commission is committed to gathering all relevant information to present a comprehensive report to the Federal Government, adding that the report will serve as a basis for formulating policies in the areas of competition and consumer protection.

She stated that findings by the commission revealed that there were conspiracy on the part of the market associations and unions across market in the country, thereby contributing to the price surge.

She said: “We are here in Gbongon market boundary market between Oyo and Osun state. FCCPC has been engaging in a fact-finding mission to understand why the a high cost of food commodities in the market.

“We are in the Gbongon market to carry out our fact-finding mission to interact directly with those in the food shape, especially distributors, wholesalers, and retailers to gather our facts as to why there is a hike in food commodities at this particular time is shocking on consumers.

“The whole essence is to ensure consumer protection aspect of our mandate is being executed to ensure that consumers get fair pricing for food commodities.

“We have been able to speak with some people and gather our facts, carry out the survey, and from this survey we collate our findings and pass it on.

“This is a survey that is going on across the country, we collate our facts and send them down to serve as points of advising the Federal Government.

“Section 17b of our mandate says we should gather facts, review them, and from the facts advise the government on the policies that have to do with competition and consumer protection.

“From our surveillance in the market, there has been a purportedly conspiracy in the market, price indulging carried out by associations and unions in the market, which is why the an escalation in food prices.

” Today, the fact-finding mission is to help us analyze this situation ourselves, that is why we interacted with the consumers, sellers, and those in the distributive chain of food to find out what is the main cause of the high-cost food commodities in the market.

“After our findings and collation of data, we will come out with a concrete analysis that this is the cause of food hikes.

” As for what we gathered from market executives which are Iyaloja and Babaloja their assertion is that as a result of inflation which as a whole affected the price of food.”

Temilade Adewale, the Iyaloja of Olufi market in Gbongan, who put the blame on the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying that the removal of the subsidy has resulted in an exponential increase in transportation costs for goods, with the cost of transporting a single bag from the North rising from #2,500 to #6,500.

She also accused the customs officials of demanding bribes before allowing goods to pass through, a practice she alleges has led to an increase in the price of rice, citing an incident in which customs officers allegedly collected a staggering N15.6 million in bribe for eight buses of rice at Saki in Oyo State.

Mary Adetoye, who was in the market to buy food items, said food was becoming out of the reach of the poor.

Adetoye appealed to the government to urgently intervene in the skyrocketing prices of food items.