Ziguinchor business sector stages a sit-in

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The business sector of Ziguinchor, the Southern Senegal’s administrative capital city, notably the retailers on Saturday morning began weeklong sit-down strikes, denouncing the new price reduction tariff imposed on them by the Senegalese government.

An unprecedented number of retailers in Ziguinchor, particularly the shopkeepers had closed their shops with some scores of them resisting selling to consumers. Preserving his anonymity, a concerned resident of Ziguinchor disclosed to the Daily Observer that the move, taken by the Senegalese government to stabilise the soaring food prizes in the country, is in response to an unprecedented number of demonstrations waged by its citizens regarding the unbearable prize hikes in the country.

A handful of retailers, who spoke to this paper expressed their dissatisfaction about the government decision to reduce prizes of commodities, saying that it is unfavourable to them. ‘‘The government decision is not good for us at all. How do they expect our businesses to grow when we are getting loses. We should not be blame for prize hikes in the country because the fault lies between themselves and the importers.

We are only retailers who buy goods from the importers,’’ Momodou Jallow a retailer stressed. ‘‘What the government needs to do is to reduce tariffs for importers to allow them to sell goods to retailers at a reasonable prize. The importers on the other hand should not be so mean about money.

As a result, they should sell goods at a very good prize. Unless this is done, the problem would be solved once and for all,’’ Mustapha Khan, also a retailer noted.
However, the citizens of Ziguinchor are happy with their government decision, saying that the price reduction could not have come at a better moment than now when prizes of basic food commodities in the country are sky rocketing.

According to them, their government has done a lot in recent times trying to wipe out massive exploitations. Bai Ibrahima Leigh, also resident of Ziguinchor, expressed delight over the prize reduction, arguing that the move was a step in the right direction.   ‘‘ Prior to the prize reduction, a bag of  favourite rice that is widely consumed by the citizens is sold at 21,000 CFA. But now the said bag of rice is sold at 17,500 CFA. Mr Leigh commended the government for the move.

With this positive initiative by the government of Senegal in alleviating exploitations, the citizens of Ziguinchor expressed high hopes that their living status will improve remarkably, provided that the prize reduction is sustainable. They therefore called on the business personalities to cooperate with the prize reduction for the general interest.

Author: by Hatab Fadera back from Ziguinchor