Reduce Prices of Food, Ekiti First Lady Begs Market Women

Ekiti’s first lady, Olayemi Oyebanji, has appealed to market women for compassion and not to exacerbate the sufferings of Nigerians due to the current economic crisis.

Ms Oyebanji made the appeal on Thursday during a meeting with female market leaders (Iyalojas) from the 16 local government areas in her office in Ado-Ekiti.

She said Governor Biodun Oyebanji was worried about the high cost of food and other essential items in markets.

The governor’s wife, therefore, asked the market women to lower the prices of food and other goods that do not depend on foreign exchange to help the ordinary citizens who are struggling with the situation.

She also urged the market women to cooperate with the current administration in the state by implementing policies that would alleviate hunger and poverty.

Ms Oyebanji urged the market leaders to spread the message to all the traders in the state and encouraged them to find ways to reduce the burden on the people, in line with the government’s efforts to ease their hardship.

“My mothers, I beg you, you are the leaders in your markets. For those goods that are not affected by the dollar, please reduce their prices. We should not use this situation to take advantage of our people.

“Let us go to our markets and talk to other market women. We have to find ways to ease the suffering of our people. This storm will pass, but the little we can do to make it easier, let us do it for our people to have some relief,” she said.

Ms Oyebanji said her husband had recently introduced some palliative measures, including a N12 billion economic stimulus package and payment of arrears of salaries and pensions.

Others are increasing funding for tertiary institutions, approval of N331 million for the purchase of food items for distribution in all the local government areas, free transportation for workers and students, and others.

She further said her recent visit to the Irona Market in Ado-Ekiti, where she gave cash and food items to poor traders and elderly people, was part of the measures to cushion the effects of the economic downturn.

Ms Oyebanji announced her plan to start a market outreach programme called ‘Aya Gomina N Be Oja Wo’ (Governor’s Wife Visits Markets), where she would visit all the markets, buy from local market women, and empower needy traders.

The Iyaloja General of Ekiti, Habibat Ogunjobi, who spoke earlier, said market women in the state have always supported Mr Oyebanji’s developmental programmes.

She assured that the market leaders would take the message to the traders in the local markets and ensure they follow the government’s advice to benefit the masses.


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