September 26, 2023
FEAR of the unknown now rules traders and buyers in many parts of the country following the decision of the Federal Government to redesign the Naira, take more control of the amount of cash in circulation, and checkmate the hoarding of currency by nefarious persons.

Currency Redesign: Speculators Mop Up Food Items From Sokoto Border Market

FEAR of the unknown now rules traders and buyers in many parts of the country following the decision of the Federal Government to redesign the Naira, take more control of the amount of cash in circulation, and checkmate the hoarding of currency by nefarious persons.

However, as that lofty programme takes effect in the second week of December this year, some “money bags” and smart businessmen in the country’s Northern borders with other countries are said to be mopping up available livestock and food stuffs from major markets in the borders with other countries and warehousing the stock ostensibly to sell at higher prices once the new Nigerian currency hits the market.

The action of the money speculators, it was revealed, has already resulted in a significant increase in the prices of foodstuffs and livestock in the markets surveyed by an Arewa Voice correspondent. During a visit to the Mamman Suka Market at the Sokoto border with a northern African country, it was found that the development has caused serious hardship for rural dwellers, who can no longer afford to buy their staples and cater for their households. This has resulted in more pain, hunger, and desperation as many families are cash-strapped.“

Arewa Voice correspondent noticed a heavy buyout of cattle and other domestic animals from the Sokoto border market by merchants who invaded the market with long trucks and buses and virtually bought anything on sight. As a result of the mopping up, a two-week-old lamb that is normally sold for N4000, was bought off at N15,000, while a goat of the same age previously sold at for N4,000 was sold for N14,000.

Similarly, a can of vegetable oil was sold for up to N30,600, compared to its usual price of N22,000. The scramble to exchange cash for valuables at the moment, has significantly pushed up prices and also paved the way for merchants to return with similar goods and receive higher pay with the redesigned currency. But the negative effects have been telling on the average trader and buyer at the market, with many speaking out against the level of hardship thrown up by the action of the speculators.

 

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