Traders under the aegis of the South-East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to allow only legitimate goods from the Nigerian markets to leave the country.
SEAMATA, which is umbrella union of traders of South-East extraction doing business across the states of the federation made the appeal in an open letter addressed and issued to Buhari yesterday, which was made available to reporters in Enugu.
The letter was duly and jointly signed by President-General of SEAMATA, Chief Gozie Akudolu, and its Secretary-General, Mr. Alex Okwudili.
It noted that the prices of local food items had sky-rocketed beyond the reach of the average citizens.
It also revealed that the very low business patronage of both industries and the line of distributive chain would soon result to the laying-off of workers in all sectors.
The letter reads in parts: ‘ Your Excellency Sir, trading activities has totally collapsed in the country as customers from our neighbouring countries no longer come because those that came still have their very legitimate goods lying at the borders ‘.
The prices of local food items had sky-rocketed beyond the reach of the average citizens.
Even the price of local rice has jumped from N7,500 in August to N17,000 for a 50 kilogrammes bag presently. This implies that even the new minimum wage of the civil servant cannot buy two bags of local rice.
Our local industries are not faring better as products from such industries like building materials, electric cables, locally-manufactured biscuits and confectioneries, plastic products, local fabrics and textiles, cooking utensils, locally-made toilet soaps and detergents as well as lubricants bought by our foreign customers are all lying at the borders.
This sudden rise in the price of goods especially staple foods is a response to the economic laws of demand in relation to supply. Once demand out numbers supply, the price must increase.
We know from our trading experience that the prices of other commodities like motor and motorcycle spare parts, toiletries, provision and other food and sundry items shall soonest witness price hikes.
Your Excellency Sir, this precarious situation is more worrisome, as the huge financial burden of our children’s school fees at various levels and other domestic financial demands from parents are on the increase.
” The very low business patronage of both industries and the line of distributive chain shall soon result to the laying-off of workers in all sectors. ”
” It said that In the light of the foregoing, the association most sincerely and respectfully appeal to the president to graciously consider re-opening the borders and “allow only legitimate goods from our markets to leave the country”.
We appeal to the President to look in the direction of the poor masses that are having hunger and starvation boldly starring them in the face considering that this situation is compounded by the flooding that had swept most of the farmlands with agricultural products.
We also appeal to Mr President to put in place, as a matter of urgency, measures to checkmate these difficulties and return our fast growing economy back on track.
We believe and trust the capacity and will-power of Mr President to alleviate the suffering of the masses and the hunger in the land.
We thank you so very much in anticipation of your prompt and urgent action Your Excellency,’’ it added.