Ramadan: Ondo Market Women Fault Cleric On Price Hike Claim
While Ramadan period offers Muslims across the world the opportunity to seek the face of God through fasting, it is a period that usually eats deeper into the pockets of Nigerians.
Scarcity of some edible commodities and hike in prices of the available ones are often the common phenomenon that seems to personify the period of Ramadan.
Taking cognizance of this fact, the President, League of Imams and Alfas, in Ondo, Ekiti and Delta States, Alhaji Kewulere Bello, has cautioned traders in foodstuffs, fruits and beverages not to hike their prices.
Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday, he said: "It had become a norm for traders to increase their products’ price once the Ramadan fast approaches. It shouldn't be so. It is a Holy Period devoid of evil practice and sin,” Bello said.
Market women across Ondo state have however reacted to the statement by the league of Imams's president.
In a response by Mrs. Felicia Akinnayajo, foodstuffs sellers only sell in accordance with the price they bought their products from the source.
"You can't expect us to buy our market at the rate of #500 and sell it for #300 just because Muslims are fasting.
"We don't have the power on our own to push up the price of product. We only sell in accordance with the market forces," she said.
Iretiola Ayeni, a yam seller also believes that it is not possible for anybody to single handedly increase the price of commodity in the market.
"The man should have suggested something else rather than talking about market women increasing price of food stuff during Ramadan.
"How is it our fault? If you look at it very well, this is not the period of yam in Ondo state. Any yam you are buying now will come from the North. And during Ramadan, the Northerners rarely travelled because of the fasting.
"So automatically, there will be scarcity. So, you don't expect the price of the little ones available to remain the same. It also applicable to all other products like pepper, tomatoes that majorly come from the North."
Tunji Aderiye, an economist, however, gave an analytical perspective.
"If you look at the law of demand and supply, you will realize that prices of commodities are subjected to that law.
"No single individual can dictate the price of product in a free market economy.
"Be it Ramadan, Christmas or Easter, once there is higher demands for products without the corresponding increase in its supply, there will be problem. Price will definitely increase.
"During Ramadan, it is a known fact that the Hausas don't travel to the North to import foodstuffs to the south.
"There is always scarcity, and this will definitely have a ripple effect on the price. So, it is not about Ramadan or anything, it is an economic law."
ALSO WATCH: Over The Bottles: Ebola Returns To DRC, Chioma Gets Davido's Assurance & More