Industrialist and Africa’s richest, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Friday, visited Kano to discuss the way forward over protests that rocked the state over the increasing hardship in the country as a result of rises in prices of food and other commodities.
Dangote, who landed at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) at 11 a. m was received at Government’s House by Alhaji Shehu Sagagi, Chief of Staff to Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf.
Dangote, who hails from Kano had closed-door meetings with Governor Yusuf, top government officials and other stakeholders in the state.
Our Correspondent learnt that his mission to Kano was to find ways of cushioning the effects of the excruciating economic hardship that has ravaged the land.
Dangote is also a heavy investor in the food segment of the Nigerian manufacturing sector.
His companies are involved in the production of sugar, salt, and rice.
Our correspondent reports that hundreds of Kano residents stormed the streets in peaceful protests over the excruciating economic situation in the country on Thursday.
They decried the high cost of essential commodities, particularly, foodstuff, calling on the state and Federal Governments to take immediate action in salvaging the situation before things get out of hand.
They staged the protest around Kurna, Rijiyar Lemu, and Bachirawa areas along the popular Katsina road in Fagge and Ungogo Local Government Areas of the state.
The leader of the protesters, Malam Usman Bello of Rijiyan Lemo, said that the harsh economic situation has caused untold hardships for masses across the state.
According to him: “We masses voted for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu; it will not be good of him not to listen to our complaints and address the pathetic economic situation we are facing now. To pretend that all is well is dangerous, let those people closer to Mr President tell him the truth that the masses are suffering and dying of hunger.
“Everybody is worried about the situation, hence the need for us to come out and express our displeasure over the situation. The situation is worrisome; this prompted us to stage this peaceful protest for the government to come to our rescue. People cannot eat three square meals, even the one square meal is now becoming difficult as a bag of rice which used to go for N25,000 now attracts N70,000.”
Four days ago, Governor Yusuf met with the Kano business community as he also lamented the high cost of essential commodities in the state and across Nigeria.
He had promised to personally inform President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that Nigerians are suffering.
A statement by the Director-General, Media and Publicity, Government House Kano, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, indicated that Governor Yusuf stated this during an interactive session with the Kano Business Community.
Bature said Governor Yusuf implored the business community to exhibit compassion and empathy towards the people of the state.
Yusuf expressed deep concern for the dire circumstances faced by the populace due to the persistent inflation, noting that many are unable to afford three meals a day.
He lamented that the exorbitant prices of essential goods, influenced by monopolistic practices, could be mitigated if the business community upholds moral and ethical values, emphasizing the need for a concerted effort to address the situation.
Bature added that despite the rise in the exchange rate of the Dollar, “the governor believes that corrective measures can significantly alleviate the situation.”
Governor Yusuf emphasized the responsibility of the state to ensure that the people feel a sense of belonging and highlighted his commitment to understanding the challenges faced by the common man.
He also directed a comprehensive market survey of basic commodities, revealing a distressing inflation rate, and is determined to address the issue through collaborative efforts.
Furthermore, Governor Yusuf promised to establish a high-powered Business Community Consultative Forum, which will convene regularly with government officials to combat monopolistic practices and create a conducive business environment.
He also proposed the implementation of a price regulatory mechanism to stabilize inflation and provide relief to the populace.
Additionally, Governor Yusuf outlined plans to introduce a more effective revenue generation system to meet constitutional requirements and prevent revenue leakages.
He urged indigenous business leaders to extend their corporate social responsibilities to their home state, emphasizing the importance of investing in their local communities.
During the interactive session, some business leaders attributed the inflation to factors such as high exchange rates of the Dollar, production costs, unreliable power supply for local industries, and border closures.
They urged the governor to seek intervention from the Federal Government to stabilize the exchange rate, emphasizing the detrimental impact of inflation on both consumers and the business community.