Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, has flagged off sales of subsidized staple food items in the state as part of efforts to ease the effect of the economic hardship being experienced in the country, especially with regards to the high cost of food items.
The food items which include rice, maize and millet are to be sold at 50 percent of current market price and the sales will be simultaneously carried out at various designated centres in all the headquarters of 274 wards of the state.
Deputy Governor of the state, Mohammed Ketso, who flagged off the exercise on behalf of the governor in Minna, the state capital, said the intervention was part of the state’s government palliative measures to cushion the effect of the arbitrary hike in prices of items in the market.
“We feel the pains of our people and that is why we made it a priority to embark on the sale of one thousand five hundred and eighty metric tonnes of assorted and essential food items ranging from millet, rice and maize at highly subsidised rates.
“The purpose of this intervention is a result of our commitments to ensure food security and bring respite to the people amidst soaring food prices,” he said.
The state government said plans have been put in place to ensure that the food items are distributed to all the wards for sale to members of the public at the subsidised rate and that the government intends to make the public sale a continuous programme until the economic situation improves.
Governor Bello directed officials at the ward levels to ensure strict compliance to the sales guideline, warning that government will not tolerate any act of sabotage or compromise in the sales of the food items.
“All involved in the distribution and sales should be transparent and accountable. The items are meant for the people. There should be no compromise. Nobody is allowed to buy more than 5 mudus of rice and 10 each of millet and maize,” he warned.
The governor also appealed to traders to review downward the general prices of goods and services in the spirit of the Ramadan season.