COVID-19 Lockdown: Wike Grants Easter Grace to Residents, Re-opens Markets for 2 Days

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike inaugurating the 33-man Committee to purchase foodstuffs from Farmers/Fishermen for distribution to Rivers people on Tuesday at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

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By Ikuru Lizzy
 Some designated markets in Rivers State on Tuesday morning recorded high patronage as residents of the state thronged the markets for Easter shopping, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN reports that the state government had earlier ordered the closure of markets across the state as part of  measures to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic.
Gov. Nyesom Wike, however, last week directed that some markets be reopened for business on Tuesday and Wednesday between the hours of 7a.m to Noon to enable households shop ahead of the Easter celebration.
The governor’s directive did not however, include the reopening of some major boarder markets like the Oil-Mill and Slaughter/Trans-Amadi markets in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area (LGA) and Mbiama market in Ahoada West LGA.
Some of the residents, who patronised the markets, expressed satisfaction over the government’s sit-at-home directive, while others lamented its hardship on small businesses and price increases on consumables.
Mrs Ngozi Ume, a teacher on her part applauded the governor’s decision to reopen some markets for two days, adding that the measure would assist households to prepare for Easter.
“The price increases I noticed on goods today aren’t a surprise, nation-wide celebrations like the Easter usually attracts little or moderate increase in prices of food items, clothing and other consumables.
“For me, the sit-at-home order is rather a blessing in disguise, I don’t have to buy new cloths for my children and I’m not also expecting much guests this Easter.
“So, in order to cope with high costs on commodities, I have channelled all resources to food and other daily family needs,” she said.
Mr Effet Igo, a poultry products retail trader said that business was good as he welcomed the early morning rush by buyers.
He, however, said that the operational noon limit by government was rather too short for buyer and sellers alike to conclude on their business activities for the day.
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