From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
The Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission, PCACC, has uncovered and sealed up about ten warehouses allegedly hoarding essential commodities at some markets in the state.
The Commission, in an operation conducted yesterday, led by its Chairman, Muhuyi Magaji Rimin-Gado, had sealed the warehouses Dawanau International Grain market and Singer Grocery market.
Briefing journalists immediately after the operation, Rimin-Gado said the raid was based on intelligence information at the commission’s disposal.
Owners of such warehouses were nowhere to be found during the operation but those opened were stocked with assorted food items such as spaghetti, rice, pasta, sugar, among others.
According to Rimin-Gado, the warehouses owners had been served notice to report to the Commission, failure of which could lead to prosecution.
“As you can see, the Kano state Public Complaint and Anti Corruption Commission (PCACC) has made true its promise that we are going to embark on fight against hoarding of essential commodities in the state.
“We started last Thursday and we have made a significant impact towards stopping the incessant rise in the price of essential commodities. It was such that within a week, rice had jumped from N52,000 to N61,000.
“Thank God, form what we have done so far, we are certain that there is impact. From here we are going to the Singer market to see the situation.
“Firstly, we were able to stop the incessant increase in prices of the commodities and secondly we have the belief that if we sustain the tempo we will be able to bring down the prices from where they have gotten to.
“As you can see now we are going round the warehouses and we met a lot of issues which after we go back to the office we are going to look at them.
“One fundamental problem is each store we enter they will be claiming that the items are for the World Food Program. We wonder if the world food program will starve the country while taking the food somewhere else.
“You can see, I was told here today that the price of maize has jumped from N30,000 to N60,000. So you see, a hundred percent increase, this is unacceptable. You can see these stores, there are hundreds of millions of Naira worth of hoarded commodity.
“We are taking over the stores now and we are going to make some certain arrests because these will not be tolerated.
“ This is not a market, this is a warehouse. We have activated our intelligence mechanism and they have come up with reports on where and how they are hoarding it” he explained.
The Chairman restated the commitment of the commission to stabilize the price of essential commodities to ease suffering and hardship bidevilling the people.
Peoples Daily reports that Rimin-Gado, had last week announced that the commission would launch operations against foodstuff hoarders in order to make the goods available and affordable for the populace.