The Paramount Ruler of Akure, the State capital of Ondo State, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi alongside the Deji-in-Council has asked foodstuff sellers in Akure to immediately cut down the high cost of foodstuff in Akure and its environs or risk their shop being closed down.
The Deji ordered the slash in prices of these commodities at his palace after an exhaustive meeting with the leadership of the various groups of foodstuff sellers in Akure.
This was sequel to a recent market survey of some foodstuff like rice, palm oil, groundnut oil, garri among others across major towns like Osogbo, Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Ile-Ife, Ilesha, Ado-Ekiti, and Lagos in the south west.
The palace found out that the prices obtained in these communities were at variance with what is sold in Akure. The prices of rice, garri, palm oil was too exorbitant when compared with other cities, making it almost the highest in the whole of south-west.
Oba Ogunlade expressed displeasure at the astronomical rate at which foodstuff is being sold in Akure compared with other neighboring towns.
He said: “It is so sad that the prices of commodities had been unnecessarily hiked in Akure with no justifiable reason. This is unfair and totally unacceptable.
“Considering the present economic hardship in the country, we cannot continue to watch our people die in hunger and pains due to needless hike in price of the basic need of life which is food.”
Oba Aladetoyinbo said that with the market survey carried out by the palace, it is glaring that the situation in Akure is becoming unbearable for families and things may go worse if not quickly tackled.
“I wonder why a bag of rice will be sold for between N21,000 and N23,000, 20 litres of palm oil now sells for between N20,000 and N21,500, a rubber of garri now sells for N200, when other communities sells for N16,000, N10,000 and N100 respectively,” he said.
“We are watching the market situation in other towns and I will ensure a downward review of the price as situation may demand to be at par with other neighboring towns,” he vowed.
The Monarch then ordered an immediate reduction in the price of rice which is being sold at an average of N21, 000 to N19, 000.
After much plea from the palm oil and garri sellers in the city, the Deji gave them one week to revert the prices of their commodities to N11, 000 and N100 respectively.
Oba Aladetoyinbo, however, expressed appreciation to the market men and women who agreed with him on the need for the splash in prices, considering the economic realities in the country.
He thanked them for their cooperation and understanding over the matter.
Meanwhile, Oba Aladetoyinbo has set up a task force to monitor the situation and ensure strict compliance with the new prices. He also vowed to close down the shop of any defiant seller.
The monarch, however, prayed for the quick recovery of the nation’s economy.