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Ibadan: Babaloja threatens to sanction Bodija traders hoarding foodstuffs

“We will ensure that our present stocks don’t go beyond the current prices, for the sake of our people.’’

• April 22, 2024
Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde
Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde

The babaloja (Market leader) of Bodija International Foodstuffs Market in Ibadan, Oyo State, Ismaila Aderemi, on Sunday vowed to sanction anyone caught hoarding foodstuffs from prospective buyers.

Mr Aderemi said in Ibadan that traders at the essential commodities market had resolved to reduce prices of their commodities to ease the hardship currently being faced by residents of Oyo State.

“Our traders, especially those at Bodija international markets, are currently selling commodities at prices higher than what obtains in some other markets within and outside Ibadan. The decision by the traders followed the public outcry over the soaring prices of essential commodities and the high cost of living in the country,” he said.

Mr Aderemi assured residents that the executives of the market would fish out those hoarding commodities or engaging in arbitrary increase in their prices, adding that they would be disciplined in accordance with the rules of the market.

He, however, said that no trader in the market was involved in hoarding foodstuffs to create artificial scarcity, thus paving way for price increase.

“I can tell you that you cannot find anyone in this market hoarding consumables. We are not involved in the allegation. You can move around to confirm this yourself. I can also invite some of our traders without prior notice to ask them about the prices of their various consumables and I can assure that their responses will amaze you.

“The rising prices of commodities in the market were not arbitrarily done by our members; it was brought about by what we bought, but since things are gradually coming down, we have also adjusted the prices of our commodities,” the market leader said.

He called on governments at all levels to apply measures to bring down the prices from source, adding that meetings should be held with various farmers’ associations to address the situation. We have expressed our resolve to cooperate with Governor Seyi Makinde in his bid to bring down prices of commodities in the interest of the public,” he said.

Mr Aderemi assured residents of maintaining the lowest prices of the stocks compared to the high prices being experienced in other markets across the state.

“We will ensure that our present stocks don’t go beyond the current prices, for the sake of our people. We don’t even mind running at a loss than throwing our people into difficulties,” he said.

Mr Aderemi, however, denied the rumours making the rounds that rice sellers’ association at Bodija market mandated its members to sell the product at higher prices in spite of the reduction in its price.

He stated that no association had the right to force prices of goods on its members.

He said, “The price of rice is now coming down. Most of us who still have in our stores have to sell at a loss to restock.’’

The babaloja urged market men and women selling rice and other foodstuffs to sell their wares accordingly, as their prices were gradually reducing.


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