The Kano State Public Compliant and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC), on Sunday, uncovered and sealed off several warehouses over alleged hoarding of essential commodities resulting in artificial soaring prices.
The Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Bar. Muhuyi Rimingado sealed off the warehouses stocked with essential commodities such as grains, millets, sugar, and spaghetti among others after leading his team and journalists on an unscheduled inspection of warehouses of Africa’s leading grain market, Dawanau grain market in Kano.
According to Rimingado the agency carried out the unscheduled inspection of the area after an intelligence report and securing a search warrant from the court.
He said the operation became imperative to check the incessant increase of prices of essential commodities which is compounding the hardship faced by Nigerians.
“As you can see, the Kano state Public Complaint and Anti Corruption Commission (PCACC) has made true it’s 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.
“Alhamdulillah, from what we have done so far, we are certain that there is impact. From here we are going to the market to ascertain 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.
“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 digest.
“One fundamental problem is each store we enter they will be claiming that it is the World Food Program Store. 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.
“We have three options, we are taking over the warehouses which we have now. Secondly, we are putting our operatives here and put another padlock on the stores. Thirdly, we will invite the owners, when they come we will dissect what investigation reveal, then it will end up in the court,” Bar. Rimingado said.
Earlier, a warehouse officer, name undisclosed, had told the Chairman that the essential commodities were stocked in the warehouse for contract it is about to allegedly enter with the United Nations under Food Supply Agreement, FSA for onward transportation to their logistics hub in Maiduguri, Yobe and Adamawa for alleged distribution among nigerians in the states.
During the inspection at one of the commodities market popularly known as Singer market, the leader of the market, Alh. Muhammadu Adakawa said they were happy with the move by the anti-graft agency as the soaring prices by the companies also has adverse effect on their businesses.
He said they were only victims of circumstances as they were wrongly blamed for hoarding of the goods and skyrocketed prices.
It will be recalled that the Kano State anti-graft agency had last Thursday threatened to clamp down on warehouses or stores found hoarding essential commodities in the state.
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