Yobe Farmers and Traders Wary As Government Targets Hoarding

Farmers and grain traders in Yobe State are expressing apprehension following the government’s declaration of intentions to crack down on hoarding of grains and essential commodities in markets statewide.

The state government revealed plans to closely monitor bulk purchases in Yobe markets with the aid of security personnel to prevent hoarding, ultimately aiming to combat artificial scarcity and price inflation of vital goods.

To enforce these measures, a 24-member committee, led by Deputy Governor Idi Barde Gubana, was established to curb exporting, hoarding, and artificial food shortages. The committee’s responsibilities include overseeing the sale of procured grains at subsidized rates and advising on strategies to alleviate food insecurity in the state.

Deputy Governor Gubana emphasized the need to thwart individuals seeking to disrupt peace by engaging in excessive bulk buying and hoarding of staple foods.

Despite the government’s intentions to stabilize the market, some grain traders voiced concerns that these actions could adversely impact their businesses and customers from neighboring countries like Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, without significantly reducing food prices within Nigeria.

The traders argued that escalating production and transportation costs, driven by increasing prices of fertilizers, fuel, and other inputs, along with high transportation expenses from neighboring states, were the primary factors driving up food prices, rather than hoarding.

In response, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Culture, Abdullahi Bego, clarified that these measures were implemented to offer temporary relief to the populace, with optimism for future enhancements to address the underlying issues.