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Food prices soar in Enugu, residents seek government’s intervention

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Indications emerged yesterday that prices of food items and other materials used in containing the Coronavirus pandemic have risen, even as Enugu residents asked the government to provide palliatives to cushion effects of lockdown on their families and businesses.

The Guardian learnt that since the state government’s announcement of its readiness to close all land borders into the state and shut markets as from Tuesday (tomorrow), the development has induced panic buying among the residents leading to sharp increases in prices.

Enugu currently has two confirmed cases of COVID-19, while no fewer than 26 other persons that had so far been tested have been declared negative.

In a statement yesterday, a non-governmental organisation, Global Society for Anti-Corruption (GSAC) asked the government to end the sudden hike in the prices of materials used by citizens in curbing the spread of Coronavirus.

Its Country Director, Mrs. Amaka Nweke, said in the past weeks, prices of face masks, sanitisers and hand gloves have tripled since the virus index case was first reported in the country.

“While this inhuman act continues, prices of food and other consumables have also skyrocketed in the market. It should be noted that as the number of Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country, the disadvantaged and underserved are been exploited in the face of a national lockdown, which might lead to severe hunger.

“It should also be noted that fear and hunger may lead many to sudden death if proactive palliative measures are not put in place,” she said.

Nweke lamented that it was callous and sheer wickedness for some traders to use every opportunity to the detriment of thousands of people for their selfish interest and appealed that to the relevant regulatory bodies and agency in the region to check the excesses of the traders in these difficult times.

She urged residents especially those who deal on food items and other materials used in the fight against COVID-19 to support government’s efforts by refraining from hiking their prices unnecessarily.


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