Illegal Trade Frustrates Officials

  • Addis Abeba Trade Bureau closes 15 Businesses in a Week

By Sisay Sahlu

ADDIS ABEBA – Officials of Addis Abeba trade bureau have started to take measures against illegal traders who they accused are exacerbating the price surges of commodities’ in the capital. Illegal trading in tandem with limitation to delivery basic commodities, have been worrying the community in recent times by escalating the prices, said Mekete Adafire, an official at Addis Abeba trade bureau.

According to Mekete,  the bureau has witnessed a rise in prices of basic consumer products and construction materials mainly steel and iron. It is because of some greedy traders are hoarding products in the hope that their price would increase at any time, Mekete told journalists on Friday.

“It’s frustrating the public and made them think that there is a critical shortage of commodities,” he said. The bureau has now renewed its effort to tackle the issue since June 8, 2019.

It has already formed a task force to look into the public grievance and take measures in various sub-regions of the capital, according to Mekete.

The task force has so far has taken a measurement on 15 businesses in two sub-cities who they believe were engaged in illegal trade activities. These businesses including bakeries and mill houses, he said.

Although the state has been providing subsidies to bakeries, some of them are just selling bread which is below a kilogram set in the agreement they have with the trade bureau.

They were also engaged in hoarding wheat flour in the hope that the price may increase, Mekete said.
Millhouse too were engaged in areas that were not allowed in their trade permit and engaged selling Teff without the bureau’s permission.

Most of these produces are bought with the involvement of contrabandists and brokers, he added. City officials said these kinds of illegal practices have mostly prevailed Lideta and Kofe Sub cities.
The task force’s campaign will continue to all sub-cities and they will report to the public of the outcome their work on a regular basis, Mekete added.

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