Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday paid an unscheduled visit to Garki Model market, Abuja.
The visit which was a part of the activities marking the second anniversary of the Muhammad Buhari administration was essentially to interact with traders to get first hand information on the cost of goods and other food items in the market.
Osinbajo arrived the market at about 3:10 pm to the cheers of the traders who shouted “Osibaba, APC” and exited the market after about 40 minutes.
While pricing some food items which included fish, onions, rice and beans, the Acting President also received complaints from the traders who said that the cost of renting shops was high.
A fish seller who sought government’s intervention to reduce the cost of the shop said it was as high as N250,000 per annum.
She also complained that the prices of locally smoked fish had gone high just as the imported ones had also skyrocketed.
Similarly, a rice seller, Alhaji Nasiru Maiyaki Kuryfi also complained of inadequate shop space.
He said that the management of the market was yet to complete the shops already paid for.
Responding, Osinbajo promised to intervene in the situation including the high cost of rent.
He encouraged the traders to also go into agriculture to enhance local produce.
Osinbajo also appealed to the traders to keep their goods at affordable prices especially at the time of Ramadan.
“The more we farm the more the cost of products will come down”.
Osinbajo was accompanied to the market by the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar and other senior presidential aides.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the visit, Osinbajo’s Spokesman, Laolu Akande said the visit was to feel the pulse of Nigerians.
He also stated that the Acting President earlier in the day played host to a group of school children to commemorate the Children’s Day on Saturday.
He said, “This surprise visit is essentially in the mood of May 29 Democracy Day that is approaching. The Acting President decided to go to the market to feel the pulse of Nigerians.
“He wanted an opportunity to hear directly from the people and he decided to go to the market so that he can have some kind of one-and-one interaction with the traders.
“And of course, to assure them that the Buhari administration is very much committed to revamping the economy and bringing back the economy to recovery and to assure the people that the singular purpose of the president is to ensure that life gets better; that things improve economically and in spheres of life in this country.
“And it is also in time, just at the beginning of the Ramadan fast. He also used the opportunity to encourage traders to ensure that they keep the prices affordable and assured that government will always be ready to do whatever it can to support all Nigerians at this time.
“Of course, you also remember that in the morning, he welcomed a group of school children, also because tomorrow (today) is Children’s Day. And he wanted an opportunity to interact with the children. He took them to his office and also gave them gifts in the spirit of the celebration of Children’s Day”.
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