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Rehabilitate Rail Lines to Bring Down Cost of Commodities, Grain Dealers Tell Tinubu

“This will enhance the activities of the inland dry ports and ease the market operations.”

The Dawanau International Grains Market in Kano has called on the Federal Government to overhaul and renovate the rail transport system which has the potential to bring down the cost of food items bedeviling the nation.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday in Kano, the President of the market, Alhaji Muttaqa Isah, explained that due to the cost of transportation, the price of food items has risen by over 100 percent.

He said rehabilitation of railroads would not only boost human capacity, and aid poverty reduction but, support current efforts in addressing an overbearing cost of commodities in the country.

“A standard rail transport system should be put in place to break the jinx of high transportation cost experienced by transporting the items by road. This will enhance the activities of the inland dry ports and ease the market operations.

“We travel far and wide to buy these goods from the farmers for which we pay for transportation, the prices of which have risen by over 100 percent.

“The rise in prices of these items that include paddy rice, maize, millet, sesame, ginger, and hibiscus is added by the cost of transporting them from the source. Isa stated.

“We will continue to try our best as dealers in these essential commodities to ensure that a stop is not only put to the soaring of prices of goods but, is also reduced to the nearest minimum” he added.

He pointed out that the prices of food items are affected by market forces resulting from the rise in the prices of fertilizer, cost of transportation, pesticides, and other farming requirements whose prices have soared very high.

The president of the Association also dismissed allegations that their members engaged in hoarding food items “Following recent rise in the prices of food products across the country, misinformation and disinformation have taken over the public terrain concerning our operations and we are wrongly accused of hoarding food items.” Isa stated.

“The Association hereby calls the attention of the general public to understand that we are dealers of items having an average daily turnover of N30 billion. Farmers from far and bear bring their products here which we buy and sell for exports and other industries alike. We buy and sell and cannot possibly hoard.”

“We do not buy goods or after products from industries, we rather buy our items directly from the farmers to sell to the public.

“These items are produced and sold to us by farmers who sell based on how they produce it where the prices of fertilizer, pesticides, and other services have soared high.

“Another issue is the shortage of these food items in some areas that are affected by insecurity. Production in those places has drastically reduced from what used to be obtained in the past.

Isa, further called on the Nigerian government to wave into their predicament, “We wish to use this opportunity to call on the Nigerian government to come into this to modify and regulate the activities for better output.”

He explained that they deal in large quantities of food items that are purchased directly from farmers across the north and exported to some West African Countries, Europe, and Asia in very large quantities.

The market leader assured Nigerians that their members do not deal in processed food items from production companies but rather serve as the source for their raw materials.

He also lamented how insecurity has affected the production of some crops in affected areas of the country as well as the cost of transporting the items from the farm to the market.

Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano

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