Nigerians lament skyrocketed prices of food items, blame govt, COVID-19, #EndSARS

Food items in Nigeria
Nigerians lament skyrocketed prices of food items, blame govt, COVID-19, #EndSARS
By Ekene Agbor, Osogbo
A Nigerian market place
A Nigerian market place

 

Traders and consumers have cried out over high cost of major food items in the markets.
They feared the development may affect the fun usually associated with the Christmas and New Year celebrations this year.
These Nigerians who spoke with News Boom in Osun State said the Federal and State Governments have failed the masses. Some also attributed the high costs of food items to the COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protests.
When our correspondent visited popular markets in Osogbo, Osun State to check prices of food items, it was discovered that market prices of food items have skyrocketed when compared  to what they used to be.
The market prices of food items, including beans, tin tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and pepper, groundnut oil/palm oil, live chickens (broiler, old layers), frozen chicken/turkey, garri, Semovita, yam, wheat, meat (goat, cow, ram), among others have risen. But the price of rice is said to have reduced. It was sold for over a thousand naira but a trader at Alekunwodo market in Osogbo, Mrs Bola Adewale said it now goes for N800/850 per congo measurement.
 
When asked about other food items, Adewale who sells rice, beans and semovita said a congo beans which was sold for N250/300, now goes for N400/N500 (white and red respectively), while semovita is now being sold at N1,900 (5kg), which was different from N1,700 that it was sold before the inflation.
Speaking with another food items’ vendor, Mopelola Abiola at same market, she disclosed that satchet tomatoes now goes for N150, fresh tomatoes and pepper: N50, N100, N200, live chickens between N5,000 and N7,000, tubers of yam between N1,200 and N3,000, groundnut oil/palm oil, live goat, 15,000 upward. 
Abiola argued that the price variation is wide and noted that the price differences was necessitated by the economic recession and bad governance in the country.
The traders groaned that patronage has reduced because their customers have been complaining of the continued price increase.
Another market vendor, Samson Akande, owner of success stores who sells Christmas packs , while interviewing, said he has been experiencing low patronage.
“Last year, business was better; People patronised us but this year, prices have gone up because we now pay more for transportation of our goods,” he said.
Mrs. Carolein Femi , who sells children wares, said her business has been successful before the COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protest.
She said the protesters caused major problems that affected their businesses.
According to her, “customers that buy more than two or three clothes and shoes, hardly purchase one now. Even when you call them, they would tell you that materials are the best options to buy and sew.”
She disclosed that clothe that was sold at #3,500 is now N7000.
Meanwhile, the mood of the traders was not different from that of the people of Osun State as they said bleak Christmas and New year celebrations await them.
A resident of Osogbo, Mr Gabriel Okoh blamed the Federal Government for failing to prioritise the nation’s economy. According to Okoh, “this is the worst time to be a family man. Each time my wife prepares to go to market, my heart skips because I would have to cough out close to N10,000 for her to get food items.
“Things are very hard and our government is not doing anything about it. This is worrisome because the wages and salaries are nothing to write home about. In fact, I am still wondering how people would cope in this forthcoming Christmas and New Year,” he lamented.
Also speaking, another resident, Mrs Yemisi Ponle, a trader, said her family would have to make do with whatever that is available to celebrate Christmas and New Year with.
While advising other families to plan their budget according to their means, she said “it is necessary for people to understand that there is hardship in Nigeria and the moment they realise this, the better. Christmas and New year celebrations should not push anyone to living on credit. Yes, our government has failed but we need to be realistic.”

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The Editor of News Boom Nigeria has years of cognate practical journalism experience.

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