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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is taking steps to combat the current hike in food prices in the State, urging for the collaboration and support of all stakeholders to proffer lasting solutions to the incessant price surge and guarantee better welfare for the people of the State.
Obaseki met with relevant stakeholders including market associations, traders, and farmers’ unions, among others, at the Urhokpota Hall, in Benin City, to chart actionable measures to address the rising cost of living, particularly food prices in the State.
He said, “I called this meeting because of the cost of living in Nigeria as things are hard, especially the prices of food. The people can’t eat anymore and as an administration, we can’t just keep quiet but to act.”
Obaseki continued: “We have called this meeting to see how to solve this problem as trading blames will not lead to any solution to the serious challenges we are facing. All problems have solutions, and we are here to discuss and see how to solve this high price hike challenges facing us.
“You said trade unions are people fixing prices, but I don’t know how they work to achieve that in the market. I want to know how they fix prices. I thought it was demand and supply that controlled the prices.
“If we say unions are the problem then we must look at the unions and their activities and how to control them. We must set up a committee to check and look at the activities that lead to price hike. The committee will help us know if they are doing anything against the law.”
Obaseki noted, “This meeting shows that bad road has a role to play in price increment in our markets. I have been begging the Federal Government to help repair and fix the Ekpoma/Auchi Road since when Babatunde Fashola was Minister for Works but no results till now. I appeal to them to ensure contractors complete the road which has been on for over 30 years. I have approached Dangote and BUA to support us in doing the bad portion of the road because their trucks ply that route.”
Speaking on the measures put in place to address the hike in food prices, the Governor stated that his administration will support farmers to expedite efforts towards increased local production of food crops in the State.
The governor also promised to ensure adequate security for farmers to enable them to continue with their farming activities, while also reassuring the farmers that the government will fix their tractors and send them to their various local government councils to help them prepare for the 2024 farming seasons.
Earlier, Solomon Idiogbe, representative of the Edo Civil Society Organization appealed to the governor to help check the activities of Unions across various markets in the State as they significantly contribute to the rising cost of goods and services in Edo.
Also, Edo State Market Women Association leader, Madam Blackky Ogiamien, commended the Governor for his administration’s commitment to the welfare of Edo citizens, particularly in the area of security.
Also in attendance were: Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq.; Commissioner for Business, Trade and Cooperatives, Hon. Patrick Uanseru; Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Stephen Idehenre; Commissioner for Public Safety and Security, Hon. Kingsley Uwagbale; Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi; Oredo Local Government Council Chairman, Dr. Tom Obaseki; Ovia South West Local Government Council Chairman, Engr. Edosa Enowoghomwenma; amongst others.
Other critical stakeholders in the food and services value chain present at the meeting include the Tomatoes Sellers Association, the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Hotel owners, Barbing Saloon Association, Building Materials Association, Market Women, Food Stuff and Cattle Dealers Association, Edo branch of the NURTW, Arewa traders and marketers co-operative, amongst others.
L-R: Commissioner for Business, Trade and Cooperatives, Hon. Patrick Uanseru; Commissioner for Public Safety and Security, Hon. Kingsley Uwagbale; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., and Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Stephen Idehenre, during a meeting with stakeholders on food prices, in Benin City, recently.

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