Idabato — The weekend was a dream come true to hundreds of inhabitants in Idabato and surrounding villages who converged for the launch of the first-ever periodic market organised by Consumer Product Supply Regulatory Authority (MIRAP) in the Bakassi Peninsular.
For two days, December 1-2, 2012, the headquarter of Idabato Sub-division was enlivened with basic foodstuff and other items sold at subsidised prices. MIRAP had engaged business persons for the supply in a zone with exorbitant prices for foodstuff due to the high cost of transportation and sandy soil.
Hence MIRAP's stitch in time that brought smiles as rice, groundnut oil, palm oil, cocoyams, plantains, bananas, garri, fresh tomatoes, eggs and other items were sold at down-to-earth prices. "I have been supplying rice in Bakassi for more than six years. I sold a bag of rice for 8,500 Naira but with the help of MIRAP, I am selling this bag of rice today at 7,000 Naira," a businessman told CT.
A business lady from Tiko confided that she sells a tray of eggs for FCFA 2,000 but decided to sell for FCFA 1,500 in Idabato. Okon Edet, a fish monger in nearby Kombo Amunja I, made the journey to benefit from what she terms "memorable Christmas gifts".
Wung George (from Esu, North West Region) who runs a restaurant in Idabato was elated with MIRAP. "I have bought plantains, tomatoes, rice and garri at down-to-earth prices which will help me in my restaurant business. I pray that this initiative should be repeated often," he told CT.
Launching the exercise, the Divisional Officer for Idabato Sub-division Kernyuy Tah Patrick expressed satisfaction with the gesture and said the initiative is clear testimony that government is concerned with the plight of the people of Bakassi. Addressing the population, the Administrator of MIRAP, Bamzok Ntol Cyprien, promised that after Limbe and Buea, MIRAP has chosen far off areas like Bakassi for everyone to benefit from this government gesture. "Write in your agenda," he said, "that MIRAP will be in Bakassi for at least once a month for a similar exercise."