Fish sellers under the auspices of Fish and Seafood Sellers Association of Nigeria have on Tuesday stormed the Ogun state governor’s office in Abeokuta in protest of a 100% increase in fish prices.
This occurs just a week after fish sellers in the state’s Sagamu region protested to the palace of Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Akarigbo and supreme monarch of Remoland, to voice their discontent with the rising cost of fish.
The demonstrators who held placards with different inscriptions and chanting anti-government songs to express their frustration over the development were, however, refused access to the premises of the governor’s office.
Speaking to reporters, Owolabi Onajobi, the association’s state chairman, bemoaned the fact that many of his members had to close their doors due to the unceasing increase in fish prices.
Onajobi claimed that their business have suffered as a result of the soaring prices of fish since their customers hold them responsible for the unjustified hike.
He urged the government to act right now to lessen the financial suffering brought on by rising commodity prices.
His words: “Many of us are shutting down our businesses because we cannot continue to run at a loss. For instance, a carton of titus we were buying for N45,000 before is now N87,000. We cannot continue like that, this is why we have come to the governor to tell him our plight.
“The government should please look into this and save our business from imminent collapse. We are operating under huge debt, this hardship is too much.”
Adijat Adeleye, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, urged traders to be more patient with the government, claiming that the increase in fish prices is not unique to Ogun state.
“To my understanding, I think this is not just happening in Ogun state, fish sellers from other states are also complaining about the increase in price.
“The issue of fish is not just about Ogun state, it is something that cut across the nation, there has to be an holistic approach to the problem.”