Six days after banning unions and associations from fixing and enforcing uniform prices of goods and services being sold/rendered by their members and non-members, Ondo State government have met with leaders of Trade unions and associations in the state over the arbitrary increase in the prices of goods and services.
The ban according to a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo was “to protect residents in the state amid soaring costs and incessant increases in prices of goods and services by artisans including farm produce and food items.
According to him, “the decision was taken in the overall socio-economic interest of the people of the state”.
The lastest meeting, according to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Union Matters and Special Duties, Dare Aragbaiye, who hosted the meeting at his office, was to clarify that government did not ban unions and association but only intervened to address the hardship being experienced by the people of the state as a result of the persistent arbitrary increase in prices of goods and services.
Aragbaiye said the position of the government was that no union or association should fix prices for its members, adding that Individuals, artisans, traders, service providers and farmers must be allowed to operate, sell their produce and render any service in any part of the state as they may deem profitable, based on the principle of demand and supply and prevailing market forces.
The Special Adviser also warned that no association or group should henceforth force its membership on anyone, saying prospective members must be allowed to join voluntarily.
“It is the way the executives of these respective associations or groups run the associations that will attract people to join the professional or the trading groups.
He said, “No association should invade anybody’s shop or business by reason of not joining their association or group. Also, all traders should be allowed to sell their goods and services in the state at reasonable prices. Nobody should force anybody to increase the price of his or her goods and services again”, he stressed.
The governor’s aide noted that the government would continue to meet with the respective associations for the development of the state and the betterment of the masses.
“Associations are free to be, and from what we have discussed at the meeting, the leaders of artisans’ group, market leaders, they have come to see that they are partners in progress with the state government.
“So, we have come to the conclusion that the associations will continue to be and join hands with government to enforce the decision of government to curb exploitation of the citizenry”, Aragbaiye added.
While reacting, the leaders of the unions and associations applauded the Special Adviser for clarifying the issues, describing the development as first of its kind.
They commended the state government for its proactive step aimed at reducing the artificial increase in the prices of goods and services by some traders in the state.
They promised to fully cooperate and work hand in hand with the government to checkmate the excesses of traders who deliberately increase prices of goods and services and inflict unnecessary financial burdens on the masses.
The meeting had in attendance the President, Iyalajes/Iyalojas of Ondo State, Princess Nike Aroloye Akingboye; the Aare Babaloja and Babalaje General of Ondo State, Chief Adebayo Stephen Adebowale, and United Artisans President in the state, Comrade Oluwadaisi Komolafe, among other leaders.