Jan 15, 2009, 5:20 AM
The continuing increase in the prices of basic commodities, especially rice, sugar and cement is indeed a bad development, considering the trend of price hikes the country has been grappling with for the past years.
Information gathered has it that a bag of rice is now costing D1050, sugar at D1350 while a bag of cement is now costing D275.
Granted, the purpose of any business is to make a profit; but this should not be used as an excuse to keep the poor masses in the stranglehold of exploitation for the selfish interest of a few.
In fact, sugar, rice and cement are only part of a host of other basic commodities whose prices should be urgently looked into with the view to bringing them down as soon as possible.
Prices of staples like vegetable oil, flour, meat and fish should also be looked into, especially now that the Ramadan is just at the corner, slated as it is for the 9th July.
In the interest of the entire citizenry, the relevant authorities ought to do more than they have done so far, to effect a reduction in the prices of building materials such as cement, which continue to rise beyond the means of the poor Gambians.
Perhaps the encouragement of investors to establish more cement factories in the country would do the trick in making the price affordable, and thus contribute to the development of infrastructure, whether domestic, commercial or public.
It is high time that we as a country started cultivating sugarcane considering the high level of sugar consumption in the country, and the discomfort its high cost causes to the general population.
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.
We also call on those who are well-off to be helpful to those who cannot afford the cost of sugar and other basic commodities.
Let the wealthy consider the poor and needy at all times, especially during difficult moments.
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”