Members of the Kwara State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, expressed concern over the increasing cost of food items, urging the state government to direct the Weight and Measure Unit of the Ministry of Enterprise to regulate prices of goods and services in the state.
Moving a motion on the Need to Control High Cost of Food Items in Kwara State at the plenary of the Assembly yesterday, Hon Abdullahi Danbaba, representing Kaiama/Kemanji/Wajibe constituency, said that he was concerned about the rate at which staple food prices skyrocketed in the market in recent time.
He alleged that some traders were in the habit of creating artificial scarcity by engaging in the hoarding of food items to hike prices.
“The rate of food scarcity particularly in Kwara state has brought about an increase in the level of hunger and starvation in the society and as well triggered frustration and state of hopelessness among the citizens, as an unbelievable number of people are suffering and lamenting as a result of this ugly menace and artificial scarcity allegedly being created by market women/men indulging in the unwholesome act of hoarding the foodstuffs.”
The motion was seconded by Hon Wahab Opakunle, representing the Afon constituency and supported by no fewer than 13 other legislators, who expressed their views on the rising cost and scarcity of food items in the state, especially during the ongoing Ramadan period.
Reading the resolution of the Assembly, the Speaker, Rt. Hon Yakubu Salihu-Danladi urged the state government to encourage massive food production by providing incentives for farmers in the state through farm inputs such as tractors fertilizer, pesticides etc. including loans and other facilities.
The House also urged the government to encourage community policing particularly in the hinterland and border communities, saying that security agencies should be encouraged to be more proactive in their duties of securing the lives and property of citizens in order to curb the spate of insecurity in different parts of the state.
It also directed the House Committee on Commerce, Industry, Women Affairs and Social Development to, in collaboration with the Commissioner for Enterprise, interface with the leadership of the Market Women/Men Associations in the state to discuss the lingering crisis with a view to addressing the issues involved.