Rising in price of basic commodities ahead of Ramadan

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The recent rise in the price of basic commodities especially rice, sugar, flour and onion among a host of others, ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan is a cause of concern. This unfortunate practice carried by few selfish businessmen and women especially in build up to the Holy Month of Ramadan ought to be stopped. It has now become an annual affair, each time the Holy Month of Ramadan nears; the price of basic commodities escalates. One even tends to ask this funny question, after all are we really Muslims?

On Wednesday this was the topic of discussion during a popular radio show dubbed Talk-To-The President on the country’s newest radio- Hot FM. Almost all the callers, who call-in during the programme decried the recent surge in the price of basic commodities in the country.

According to many, in some areas a bag of rice is now costing D1200 or more, Sugar D1400, and 20 liter oil is now D1000 while a bag of Onion stands at D700. Recently, the price of bread was also increased from D7 to D8. It is like one would just wake up only to find that the price of a particular commodity has been increased without consulting the relevant stakeholders concern. And surprisingly, they are not increased in bututs but in dalasis.

In as much as the purpose of any business is to make a profit, but this should be done as in line with Islamic teachings and practices. Riba is forbidden in Islam and yet many of those involved in this dirty business call themselves Muslims. They should not take the circumstance that The Gambia is a liberal market and anyone can just price the way he or she likes. This also reminds us about the need as a country to have a price control authority or board that will always monitor and bring sanity and ensure there is level playing field in the country’s business sector.

Basic commodities like rice, sugar, onion and oil are consumed by every household in the country. Therefore, such prices should be urgently looked into with the view to bringing them down as soon as possible.

Relevant authorities ought to do more than even though they have done a lot to deter such malpractice in the business sector and thereby effect a reduction in the prices of basic commodities ahead of the holy month.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry should critically look into the matter to see if it can help to salvage the suffering of the poor and vulnerable masses.

There is a need for the business community to show empathy towards one. After all we are all Gambians.

For the Gambia Our homeland, To The Gambia Ever True!

“Instead of looking outside of ourselves and counting potential enemies, fasting summons us to turn our glance inward, and to take the measure of our greatest challenge: the self, the ego, in our own eyes and as others see us.”

Tariq Ramadan