The Akwa Ibom State government has issued an order regarding the current market prices of foodstuffs in the state.
According to the order given by the state government, a grace period of 31-days has been given to traders to reduce the prices of foodstuffs in the state or face sanctions.
The order is contained in a letter released by the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel’s Special Assistant on Traders’ Matters, Idoronyin Rapheal.
The state government in the letter threatened to dissolve the leadership of the union should it fail to address the increased prices of foodstuffs in the state.
The letter comes on the heels of recent accusations made during a radio programme recently wherein Idornyin accused the traders of taking advantage of the scarcity of FOREX to inflate foodstuff prices.
He said: “Garri is selling between N30,000 and N22,000 per bag in the state, but if you go outside Akwa Ibom garri it is sold between N18,000 and N17,000.
“The union doesn’t allow people who are not their members to sell garri in bags in the market. If you are not their member and you bring in bags of garri into the market, they will seize them from you.
“If you look at it, there are no Customs duties on garri, and garri is not purchased with dollars, so it is the union that is causing the price increase.
“We will not continue to fold our hands and watch them do this. The unions must give traders the free hand to sell their goods. Another example is the crayfish. If you travel to Aba in Abia State, you’ll discover that the crayfish there are cheaper there than in Akwa Ibom, and the traders from Aba are buying from here. It is because of the union.”