Acting President Osinbajo visits traders in Abuja market

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja.

Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was Friday greeted to wide jubilations as he visited the Garki market in Abuja to feel the pulse of the people and reassure them of government’s commitment to bring the price of food down.

Osinbajo, who was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, and other government officials, arrived at the market at about 3.00pm Nigerian time, visited some stalls and spoke with the traders.

His first port of call was the Obaze Sam Frozen Food Shop where he spoke with Mrs. Elizabeth Omni, who sells fish.

Mrs. Omni informed the acting president that the cost of shops was becoming increasingly unaffordable and that the cost of her wares was also getting higher.

“I want to sell and gain so that I can pay for the shop,” she told Osinbajo, adding the shop “is too costly.”

Professor Osinbajo told her that government would look into the cost of the shops and that “the most important thing is that must we encourage those who are fishing locally, so that we can have more local fish.”

“We will see what we can do to make sure that prices go down but most of it is doing more locally and that is one the reason I’m here to talk about buy Nigeria, grow Nigeria and do more that is Nigerian,” he said.

Among the other traders that Osinbajo spoke with was Nasiru Magayaki, who sells grains and other food items.

He also appealed to the acting president to look into the cost of renting shops in the market to enable petty traders to be able to rent the shop.

Magayaki explained to the acting president that the cost of rice was coming down in the market.

Osinbajo assured him that government would begin to give subsidy to farmers to force down the price of locally produced rice.

Democracy Day celebrations

Speaking to State House Correspondents after Osinbajo’s visit, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Laolu Akande, said the acting president’s visit to the market was part of activities to mark Nigeria’s Democracy Day, which comes up on May 29.

He said “the Acting President decided to the market to try and feel the pulse of Nigerians and wanted an opportunity to hear directly from the people and decided that we should go the market so that he can have some kind of one-on-one interaction with the traders and feel the pulse of the people.  And of course to assure them that the Buhari administration is very much committed to revamping the economy, to bringing the economy to recovery. “

He said the acting president also wanted to the assure the people that President Buhari’s purpose is to ensure that life gets better and to improve all aspects of the people’s lives.

Akande said the acting president also wanted to use the opportunity to encourage the traders to keep prices affordable during the Ramadan fast, which is about to begin.

Earlier on Friday, Professor Osinbajo received some children from primary schools in Abuja, where he felicitated with them on this year’s Children’s Day celebration.