The swift and timely intervention of Kano State anti graft agency to regulate market prices of consumables was worthy of commendation and its an action worth emulating by other states.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in late 2019, the world has witnessed a sudden and swift changes in its natural setting. Coronavirus became a catasptrophe that forced the closure of many businesses, learning institutions, organisations, stores and markets, religious worship centers, cinemas, clubs, etcetra. Life was completely brought to a standstill as countries battled to contain the spread of the virus. All forms of social gathering were prohibited around the globe and social distancing was strongly encouraged, all in a bid to tackle the spread of the virus.
However, Nigeria was no exception as it also recorded it’s first case of the Covid -19 in Lagos on 27th, February 2020. The development prompts Federal and State Governments to take decisive and hard decisions to minimize the risk of spread of the virus. Partial and gradual lockdown was ordered and later total lockdown was enforced when the cases start to increase geometrically.
Kano State Government also ordered partial and later total lockdown of the state after it recorded its first index case. A decision that thrown most of the populace into a state of dubiety and confusion. Minds were full of anxiety and fear, especially because of uncertainity of what will be the outcome of closure of the mighty markets in which majority of the populace depends for daily survival. Usually, any decision taken comes with its accompanying consequences which might be positively advantageous or otherwise. In this kind of situation therefore, its accompanying consequence is panic-buying and Inflation.
Panic-buying was basically due to anticipation of shortages of consumables. It is also natural that people will made effort to provide for themselves in anticipation of the uncertain future, especially when they are hearing confusing and conflicting reports about the virus. This leads to excess demand against supply, which if left unchecked will bring about persistent rise in the general price of commodities.
On the very first day the lockdown was relaxed for people to stock up their food items and other essential commodities, prices skyrocketed due to excess demand which put the sellers at an advantage position to dictate the prices according to their will. For Example; cost of sugar, rice and pure water bags arbitrary rose within a short period of time. Without any remorse or regard for humanity and this holy month, the greedy sellers use that oppurtunity to generate more profit at the detriment of the devastated populace.
In response to the unfortunate situation, the Kano State Government finds it necessary to interfere in the market process and regulate prices of commodities that are persistently rising. The state’s anti-graft agency under the leadership of Barr. Muhuyi Rimin-Gado embarked on a thorough investigation to find the source of the problem and provide lasting solutions to the situation. After much consultations with marketers and other stakeholders, a common ground was reached, a bilateral agremeent was signed and normalcy was restored. The government intervention is timely and worth commending.