Lockdown: Kano antigraft agency, Supermarket operators fix price of rice

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The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) says it has reached an agreement with Association of Supermarket operators in the state for sale of rice at N16,000 per 50kg bag.

Mr Muhyi Magaji, the Chairman of the anti-graft agency, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen shortly after a meeting with the association and the Commissioner of Commerce in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the commission recently signed a similar agreement with the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) on selling the bag of rice at N16,000 retail price.

According to Magaji, such an agreement is aimed at controlling inflation in the state, and also reducing hardship faced by the people during the lockdown.

He also disclosed that part of their agreement with the rice processors was to sell the product at N15,500 to the supermarkets who would then sell to the public at N16,000 per bag.

Magaji added that their responsibility was an intervention between the supermarket operators and the state Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Solid Minerals to ensure the control of commodity prices.

“We are now playing in between the traders and the Ministry of Commerce, where we come in, because we were saddled with the responsibility of this issue of inflation of price.

“And part of the recommendations and the series of meetings we had on this issue, some of them have to do with the state government, while some have to do with the Federal Government.

“And we are making all the necessary contacts with the concerned federal agencies to ensure that we achieve our aim on this issue so that the people of Kano would benefit,” he said.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Commerce, Mr Mahmud Muhammad, said the meeting was part of their efforts to ensure that such agreement become effective.

“This meeting followed our earlier meeting with the RIFAN where we agreed to increase supply of the product to some selected supermarkets in the state on a weekly basis to make the product available to the public during the lockdown period.

“Because of this COVID-19, they will sell the rice at supermarkets in the state. The supermarkets will be receiving the goods at the rate of N15,500 and will not sell more than N16,000.

“Hence the Supermarket owners will be buying rice directly from the processors to avoid hoarding of the product and subsequent inflation.

“They can continue their business with other traders and wholesalers, but we have created a window to control hoarding and inflation in this period of lockdown,” he explained.

On his part, the Secretary of the association, Malam Umar Habu, confirmed the development, adding that the agreement is not for them to get profit, but for the poor to enjoy.

According to him, this is part of our contribution to see that an average man in the state did not find it difficult to buy the rice, especially during this COVID-19 lockdown. (NAN)

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