Jul 29, 2008, 12:07 PM
The skyrocketing prices of basic commodities in the country is now becoming a cause for concern.
It is rather unfortunate that less than a month to the holy month of Ramadan the prices of commodities such as sugar, meat and rice remain exorbitantly high.
This is unacceptable, and needs urgent redress from the government of the day.
If people find it difficult to buy food for their families as a result of undue price rises, this could be very serious.
In order to remedy the situation, the government and the business community should engage in a dialogue for the betterment of all those residing in the country.
The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the relevant stakeholders should all be involved in such an important meeting to resolve the situation, once and for all.
Despite assurances by the government that the prices of basic commodities will remain stable, and generally falling, in spite of the recent appreciation of the U.S Dollar against the Dalasi, we feel very sad that it is becoming a tradition in this country to see business people increasing the prices of basic commodities ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.
This is the month when all human beings are advised to seek Allah’s blessing and reward and, therefore, it should not be an opportunity for business people to make the poor suffer by getting rich overnight.
We know that businesses are established to yield profit, but at the same time business people should always consider the plight of their customers, and be more reasonable and flexible.
We are not saying that they should sell their commodities at a loss, but at a reasonable price, so to speak.
It is high time for government to put the necessary measures in place to avert the situation; we strongly believe that the matter can be solved amicably through constant dialogue.
Unavailability of affordable and accessible food will, no doubt, undermine the food self-sufficiency dream we want to achieve as a country, if the trend continues like this.
It is high time we started to grow our own food, and provide the necessary storage facilities, as this is the only way to overcome the frequent skyrocketing prices in the market.
“Born out of concern for all beings.”