By; Bala B. Bitrus, Minna
Dealers and sellers of foodstuffs in all parts of Niger state risks punitive actions from the state if they are caught hoarding their items for profiteering.
The state government also cautioned traders, particularly middlemen and Shylock traders dealing in basic food items to stop hiking of the prices of food stuff and any sharp practice to cheat helpless customers.The government warned that anything that could lead to artificial scarcity, further hardship and pains to the citizenry would be met with unsavory consequences.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in the state, Mr. Jonathan Tsado Vatsa vowed to thwart and stand down any attempt by dealers and sellers of foodstuffs to unduly and unreasonably increase prices of food and other basic items in order to maximize profits to the detriment of the hapless end users of their items in the state.The statement said government is aware of the hardships confronting citizens as a result of the present economic realities in the country and therefore appealed to all for understanding and respect for law and order even as it warned that opportuned and well placed individuals should not do anything to further compound the pains faced by mass of the population.
It stressed that government will not fold its hands and watch or allow shylock dealers and sellers of essential commodities such as food items unjustly hike the prices of foodstuff for their selfish reasons.The statement said hoarding of food and other essential commodities as well as hiking of the prices of foodstuff could lead to breach in security. It therefore cautioned traders and such business men and women against acts that could compound the pains of the citizens and cause anxious moments for the state.
The statement reads in parts. “We want to sound note of warning to shylock traders who may want to deny citizens the benefits of enjoying the yields from the bumper harvests recorded during last cropping season by unreasonably increasing the cost of basic food items in order to make crazy profits.”It noted that though the state government was not in any way out to regulate market forces or to fix prices for items, it appealed for restraint, modesty, fear of God and love for one another in individuals’ conducts.
The statement warned against greed, avarice, uncouth and primitive accumulation of wealth saying it is ungodly reprehensive and repraisable.