An anti-graft agency, Kano Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission have on Wednesday sealed warehouses for alleged hoarding of food items and essential commodities in the state.
The agency’s Chairman, Muhuyi Rimingado, in a statement made available to newsmen in Kano, said that the warehouses were sealed and food items seized following a raid conducted by his operatives at the ‘Singer market’.
Rimingado said they found out that some traders took advantage of the lockdown resultant of the COVID-19 pandemic to hoard and inflate prices of food and essential commodities.
According to him, “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,” Rimingado said.
Food items or commodities seized include 19,500 bags of flour, 5,120 bags of sugar, 79,645 cartons of spaghetti and 37,000 cartons of pasta.
Sequel to the raid, Rimingado said the leadership of the traders’ associations and the commission had reached an agreement to peg the price of sugar at N16,000 per 50kg bag, a waiver to ”Singer market” to be supplying essential commodities to neighbourhood markets, to deal with scarcity and control prices during the lockdown.
Also, the sealed stores to be allowed to dispose of their goods and a supply channel be maintained from the manufacturers namely Dangote and Bua Groups to the retailers while traders and marketers were also expected to observe prevention protocols in their respective business premises during the approved transaction period.
Recall that Governor Ganduje while announcing the relaxation of the lockdown to give a window of six hours on each days of Monday and Thursday (10am to 4pm) warned traders involved in unnecessary hiking of prices of food items to sell them at regulated prices saying anyone found hiking stands the risk of forfeiting the goods as palliatives to the downtrodden.
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