Petty traders in Imo State have been blamed for inflating the prices of food items as a result of the proposed shutting down of markets on Sunday, today.
News correspondent in the state who embarked on a vox pop across major markets in the state including Relief, Amakohia daily market, Nkwor-orji daily market among others, reported that buyers are paying through their noses as prices have skyrocketed.
At Relief market Saturday, according to our reporter, a paint of garri was sold at N1500 as against its normal price of 500 while a bag of rice was sold at N32,000.
Other food stuff including egusi, okro, vegetables, tomatoes…etc are also on the high side.
In an interview with a buyer at Relief market, Chiaka Iheoma, she expressed worries over the hike in prices of goods, blaming it on the traders.
She said, “Traders have no right to inflate the prices of wares procured before the outbreak of Coronavirus. This is one problem with our people. They readily utilize every situation as an opportunity to make gains.
“Imagine a paint of garri which used to sell for 500 being sold now at N1500. This is outrageous!”
She further expressed worry on the proposed closure of markets in the state, lamenting that hunger may kill people more than the virus.
A petty trader at Amakohia market who pleaded anonymity complained that the reason for the increment was because they were no longer allowed to go out to purchase goods in large quantity.
Hear her, “shutting down of markets will be the worst. What are we going to eat at home? Is the government going to provide food for us? I don’t subscribe to the government idea to close all markets in the state. There will be serious hunger in the land.”
Meanwhile, news learnt that the state government has set up a task force which will monitor various markets in the state in line with its directive to close them down against the deadly coronavirus.
Similarly, the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, in a live broadcast Saturday banned all forms of public gathering, church services, crusade, marriage ceremonies, burials…etc, appealing to Imo people to abide by the directives for their best interest.