Rising cost of food items, Nigerians express worry

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Nigerians are lamenting the continuous increase in the prices of foodstuffs in markets with residents of Lagos State, saying the prices of some items have gone up by as much as 50 per cent.

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At Ile-Epo Market located in the Agbado area, along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, which is renowned for the availability of yam, beans, rice, potatoes, among others, in large quantities, traders and buyers lamented that the food items have become too expensive for most people to buy.

At the market, it was found that a bag of parboiled rice, popularly referred to as Aroso, now went for N20,000 as against the N18,000 it was a few weeks ago, while a bag of another parboiled rice brand, Agric, had shot to N18,500 from N16,000.

It was discovered that a bag of new onions cost N26,000, a significant rise from its old price of N18, 000, just a bag of old onions cost an average of N34,500, having been jacked up from N27,000. Similarly, a bag of dry pepper (new one) cost N30,000, whereas it used to go for N15,000. A 25-litre keg of palm oil was sold at between N15,500 and N16,000, as against its recent price of N13,000.

Beans, another staple food for a lot of Nigerians, went for 38,000 per bag of the popular Oloyin brand, as against the old price of N22,000. A bag of garri, arguably the commonest staple food in the South-West region of the country, was now N24,000 as against N18,000 which it stood at only a few weeks back. The yellow garri was now N23,000. It used to be N18,000.

The market is also known for its wide array of yams of different sizes and shapes. Medium-sized five tubers of yam could be bought for N5,000 as against their old price of N2,000. The prices of basic condiments and confectioneries had also gone up considerably in all the markets visited, including the Daddy Savage in the Iju area of the city. It was noted that prices of commodities like tomato paste, spaghetti, seasonings and cooking oil had equally been jacked up.

A carton of a popular brand of seasoning, which used to cost N5,500, she added, now went for N6,500, while all brands of spaghetti had shot from an average of N3,200 per carton to over N4,000.

At the fish section of the market, the price of a carton of Titus fish had jumped to N30,000 from N12,000. A carton of Kote fish used to be sold at N8,000 but now it cost N15, 000, while a carton of Croaker fish now attracted N25,000, and not N14,000 anymore.

Many traders have associated the development to the current economic drawback in the country, a situation which, they said, has been worsened by government’s economic policy, particularly as it affects import duties.

“My brother, things are not looking up at all. Many of us are struggling ever day to make meaningful sales. If we don’t sell, how do we restock? How do we feed our families and take care of other responsibilities? Everything is dull,” a trader, Mr Segun Sebiola, who sells bags of rice at Ile-Epo Market, said.

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