Despite his assurance seven months ago to establish the Imo Commodity and Marketing Board, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State is yet to fulfill his promise.
The absence of this board, expected to regulate the escalating prices of essential food items in the State has left Imo citizens grappling with soaring costs of food items.
Basic commodities like yam, rice, beans, and maize have become increasingly unaffordable for the average Imo citizen because of the high cost.
Governor Uzodimma’s assurance during a meeting with Stakeholders in the State on July 15, 2023 in Owerri, to set up the Board remains unmet, prolonging the economic burden on Imo residents, after the Federal Government had removed subsidy on petrol.
At the meeting, he had also pledged to increase monthly salaries of workers to N40,000, and other palliatives to cushion the effect of removal of fuel subsidy.
The Imo Marketing and Commodity Board, this newspaper gathered, is expected to ensure the availability of food items at reasonable prices through the establishment of low-cost markets across all 27 local government areas of the state.
Uzodimma had promised at the meeting “I have discovered with pain, how traders are taking advantage of the economic situation to increase the prices of food items in the market.
“The State government will soon establish the Imo State Marketing and Commodity Board, which will ensure food items are sold at normal prices.
“We shall achieve this by setting up low cost markets in the State where prices of food items and commodities will be affordable for the masses.
“The markets will be situated in all the 27 LGAs of the State” he said.
However, despite the pledge, the board has yet to materialize, leaving citizens of the State disillusioned and struggling to afford basic necessities as cost of living continues to soar.
Some concerned Imo citizens who spoke to INNONEWS noted that the delay in constituting such crucial agency underscores the urgency for tangible action by the State government to alleviate the economic hardships facing Imo residents lately.