- Nigerians have continued to lament the continuous rise in the prices of foodstuffs in markets
- A visit to Mile 12 market showed that the prices of some items have gone up by as much as 50 per cent.
- At the market, traders and buyers lamented that the food items have become too expensive for most people to buy
In Lagos State, the prices of some items have gone up by as much as 50 per cent. Costs of virtually all essential goods and services have gone up, according to a recent finding by NAIJ.com.
NAIJ.com paid a visit to popular Lagos market, Mile 12 market, and found out the increment in the cost of virtually all the goods in the market.
Mile 12 market is known for the availability of yam, beans, rice, potatoes, among others, in large quantities. Despite this assertion, traders and buyers lamented that the food items have become too expensive for most people to buy.
With the massive fall in the value of the naira and rising unemployment, the prices of goods and services have taken a negative turn on the standard of living for Nigerians lately.
Traders lamented over the current increase of the prices of food items, some blamed it on the harsh economic condition while others blamed it on the attack and unrest in the Northern part of the country where the most of the goods are purchased.
Toyin, a consumer who spoke with our correspondent, highlighted the decline in standard of living in Nigeria despite the country’s crippling recovery from the jaws of recession.
“Early last year, the prices of goods in the market were rising at an alarming rate, with limited cash in the hands of consumers to purchase them.
“Life has been very hard and unbearable for consumers with low income. While battling with the fluctuating price of goods, buyers struggle to make ends meet. It is worrisome. Considering the current critical economic situation in the country, it is very disturbing.
"I plead with the federal government to please come to the aid of the citizens by at least implementing commodity price control or regulation, because we no longer feed well due to the rise in the price of basic food items," she said.
The prices of a 50kg bag of rice and a 100kg bag of beans at the popular Mile 12 market in Lagos, have slightly increased from N16,500 to N17,500 and N23,000 to N24,500 respectively.
There was a shortage of beans from the farms while foreign exchange has contributed to the increase in the price of the food items.
These new prices, according to traders, are influenced by the exchange rate, economic condition and ban placed on the importation of some food items.
Okpara, a trader at the market, explained in details what the prices of the food items have become. He added added that these prices are not fixed, depending on the quantity purchased, size of the bags and market location.
According to him: "For some time now, the price of beans have increased while that of rice witnessed a slight increase. A big bag of beans (Oloone) that cost N40,000 before, now costs N43,000. And a bag of (Oloyin ) beans that cost N23,000 before, now costs N25,000 while that of (Olotu) big bag goes for N48,000.
"A bag of Aroso rice goes for N17,000 and Agric rice goes for N17,500. Sales have dropped lately, due to the purchasing power of the consumers that has been reduced as consumers come to purchase in low quantity."
Similarly, prices of perishable goods like tomato, pepper, and fish have increased by 40 percent. Traders accrued this to the tomato Ebola and the scarcity of pepper
Iya Tope, a trader in the market, also explained vividly, how the prices of goods vary from item to another, as against the amount they were bought in the past.
"Due to the tomato Ebola that has spread in some states where tomatoes are purchased, there has been an increase so far in tomato and pepper. A basket of tomato that cost N10,00 and N12,000 has increased to N28,000 and still counting. While a bag of pepper cost between N15,000 and N18,000 respectively. The only tomato that you will get at N100 is the one that is long and tiny, the ones that are grown but are of low quality to the Hausa, Cameroon and Ghana tomatoes.
"The tomatoes that are sold for N100 before, now cost N400 and above. Same goes for pepper. Consumers are not happy with the situation of things, as their low purchasing power reflects in our profit, which has reduced drastically. Because, we buy at an affordable rate and sell at an increase price. Which definitely makes our income poor," she stated.
Meanwhile, the price of onions increased a bit as observed in the market. It was discovered that a bag of new onions costs N24,000, a significant rise from its old price of N18,000. Even a bag of old onions costs an average of N30,000, having been jerked up from N25,000. Similarly, a bag of dry pepper (new one) costs N60,000, whereas it used to go for N55,000.
Traders informed that the Eid did not affect the prices of goods rather the cost of transportation from the farm to the market location.
Sweet potato has become a scarce commodity, as a bag now goes for N20,000 as against its old price of N10,000.
According to Sulaimon, one of the traders who spoke with NAIJ.com, the price of potato increased due to the scarcity of the product and the general increase in the price of almost all the goods in the market.
"Not only has the celebration affected goods like fruits and other farm produce that comes from the northern part of the country but the economic situation of the country is also part. Currently, every goods in the market has increased, so potato is not left out. It is also scarce, thus making the available ones expensive in the market.
"Last month, a bag cost N12,000 but recently, some of the traders that did not travel for the celebration now purchase at an increased rate of N20,000. This will not only affect the consumers but we the traders, as we might end up selling at an unbearable price so it will not rotten, considering the fact that it is a perishable produce," he lamented.
In the same vein, the prices of 100kg bags of groundnut, maize, sorghum and soya beans are sold for N27,000, N13,000, N14,000 and N18,000 respectively. Medium-sized yams can be purchase from N5,000 upwards as against their old price of N3,000 for five tubers.
Also, the price of 25 litres of palm oil remained the same at N14,500 while 25 litres of groundnut oil can be purchased from N15, 000 upwards.
NAIJ.com visited the market during Ramadan to ascertain the truth about the prices of goods, whether the fasting period affected them or if the increase was just 'man-made'. Here is what we got from the traders: