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Alleged hoarding: Dawanau Grains Market traders tackle Kano govt This site asks for consent to use your dataManage your dataConfirm our vendors

Alleged hoarding: Dawanau Grains Market traders tackle Kano govt

Dawanau market, Kano (Pic by Daily Trust)

Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun

By Aminu Garko

Traders at Dawanau International Grains Market in Kano have said the grains and other food items in their warehouses are being stored preparatory to their eventual sale to their customers and not being hoarded as recently alleged by the state government.

“We buy and sell the items and cannot possibly hoard them” the President of Dawanau Market Development Association (DMDA), Alhaji Muttaka Isa told journalists on Thursday.

The Kano anti-corruption agency has some days ago raided the market and sealed some of the large warehouses in response to speculations that the traders were contributing to high prices of food in the country by engaging in hoarding.

However, Muttaka at the press conference in Kano dismissed speculations that dealers transacting business in the market are hoarding foodstuffs to create artificial scarcity.

He also dismissed claims that the traders were inflating prices of food items arbitrarily to cause excruciating hardships to the public.

According to him, grains were being stored in the market’s warehouses before selling them to buyers.

“Following the recent rise in the prices of food products across the country, misinformation and disinformation have taken over the public domain concerning our operations and we are wrongly accused of hoarding food items.

“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 near bring their products here which we buy and sell as whole sale to industries and for exports.

“We buy and sell the items and cannot possibly hoard them.

“The various grains and other food items you see in these warehouses are only on transit; they must be stored first before they are sold to our customers.

“Storing the goods in the warehouses is essential to prevent them from being spoilt and also for convenience purposes,” Isa explained.

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“Governments and organisations purchase grains from us. For example, the Federal Government buys grains from us, organizations like the World Food Programme (WFP) also buys grains from us and distributes to IDP camps in Nigeria and elsewhere.

“I wonder how these esteemed customers can buy from us if we are hoarding these grains. So, I am appealing to the general public, particularly our business partners, to disregard the wicked rumour as it is baseless and unfounded.

“The truth is that we are genuine businessmen, passionate about the progress and well being of our customers as well the economic development of our dear nation, Nigeria,” the president said.

He also called on the Federal Government to intervene by renovating the rail transport system, to ease transportation of goods and enhance the activities of the inland dry ports.

“Another issue is the shortage of these food items in some areas that are affected by insecurity.

“Production in those places have drastically reduced from what used to obtain in the past.

“We wish to use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to come into this to modify and regulate the activities for better output.

“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 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.

Dawanau grains market is the largest in West Africa, supplying foodstuffs to customers in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the Central African Republic, among other countries.

Such food items include rice, millet, sorghum, beans and groundnuts which are largely grown in the northern parts of Nigeria.

The market also stocks crops such as sesame seeds, hibiscus, tamarind and soybeans which are exported to Asia, Europe and other global markets.

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