– As prices of basic staple food items in major markets in Lagos continue to rise, the plight of most Nigerians following the general increase, has been described by many as unfortunate
– A survey conducted by NAIJ.com at Ogba Retail market, Lagos, reveals the continuous rise of some basic items and a stable price of others
– Traders across various markets continue to lament low patronage while buyers on the other hand complain of the hike in price of basic commodities and worsening economic situation
As the prices of basic staple food items in major markets in Lagos continue to rise, the plight of most Nigerians following the general increase in the price of goods and services has been described by most traders as unfortunate.
Findings across the country have shown that the prices of virtually all commodities have skyrocketed, leading to financial pressure on most families. A survey conducted by NAIJ.com at Ogba Retail market, Lagos, shows the continuous rise of some basic items and a stable price of others.
Checks revealed that the prices of staple foods like rice, vegetable oil, meat, vegetables and soup ingredients have increased significantly.
Speaking with our correspondent, a trader at the market, Vincent, said the price Egusi, Ogbono, crayfish and other commodities have increased.
“Things are difficult and expensive. The amount we used to buy the commodities before is not the amount we buy now; even the quality and content have reduced. The amount of purchase is higher than before.
Some stranded traders display their goods awaiting customers. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi
“Before, I buy and sell bag of egusi, ogbono and even crayfish but now, it is not so. It is very expensive. We cannot afford it. The price has not changed. The money we were using to buy a bag of egusi before is what we use to buy one olodo of egusi while ogbono is a no-go area. Everything in the market now is costly.
“For crayfish, it is seasonal. It is also expensive and a paint is N3,000. A 25-litre keg of palm oil is N17,500 while groundnut oil costs N16,000, this depends on the quality, the brand and the purchasing price.
“People tend to buy according to their pockets, cutting their coats according to their size. The present administration has the right answer to the economic situation.
“The fuel price increment has led to the increase in the price of the commodities. The market is not moving and even people you see selling goods only sell to clear off the old items so as to go get a new one. We are just trying to survive,” the man lamented.
Similarly, it was gathered that the price of fish has increased. While some blamed it on import duties, market price and the demand, others blame it on the current economic situation.
Madam Ify, a trader in the market who sells fish, turkey, chicken and other food items, attributed this to the current economic situation, import duties, market forces and cost of purchase.
She said: “Like before, I sellthree cartons of fish daily but now I sell a carton of fish for a whole week only if there is electricity to ice in otherwise, it will get spoilt before then.
“That is the situation we have found ourselves in. Things are expensive and people are complaining and looking for money. You cannot cook a nutritious soup with a N1000 lately.
Prices of goods have dropped in some parts of the state. Photo: Esther Odili
“A 20kg carton of Titus fish now costs N19,000 but before, it cost N9,800. A carton of croaker was N12,000 before, but now we buy at N22,000. A carton of kote fish cost N7,000 before but now it is N15,000. A 30kg of kote is N24,000 now but before it costs N15,000. A carton of chicken before was between N5,000 and N6,000 but now, it costs N8,500 or N9,500 depending on the seller and the purchase price. A carton of turkey costs between N7,000-N8,500 but now it costs N10,500.
“Market is not moving like before. We do not even have the slightest idea of how we got to this point. When we go to buy these items, we get to pay a particular amount on each bags of item purchased, pay the touts at the market as well, all these have brought about the increase of the price of the items. Aside the commodities imported, the local produce are more expensive than the imported ones.”
A rice retailer, who identified herald as Mrs Jane, said that the price depends on the brand, the quality, the market and the type.
She added that the commodity has increased due to the restriction placed on the importation of rice, the cost of transportation and other expenses charged.
“The price of rice continues to rise and sometimes the amount purchased determines the amount it will be sold. Same goes for beans and garri. The restriction placed on the importation of rice led to its increase and often times, the ones that are produced here also is expensive,” she began.
“Market is moving slowly compared to previous months. People only buy things because they must eat hence they die of starvation. But I must confess that the purchasing power of the buyers has been affected greatly which therefore leads to low patronage on our part.
“A bag of aroso rice before as at last week cost N18,000 but now it cost N19,000. We cannot tell if it will rise higher in coming weeks. While that of agric rice cost N17,000 before but now N18,000. For beans, a small bag of Olo one beans cost N8,500 before but now it is N14,000. While a medium bag of white garri cost N9,000 before but now N15,000. I buy my items at Agege, but the price I sell them is determined on the amount of purchase,” Madam Jane added.
Also, a wholesaler who pleaded anonymity, informed that the wholesale price of the food items has been relatively stable, but informed that retailers deliberately increased it so as to make extra profits.
Mr Jimoh, a meat seller at the market, said the price of meat has also risen, as he blamed the current economic struggle, cost of purchase and market prices for the issues.
He said: “the price of meat continues to rise because everything in the market has risen. Big cows which was sold then from N70,000, now sells from N100,000 and above while the smaller ones can be purchased from N60,000 depending on the situation of the market and location of purchase.”
In addition, the price of perishable goods like tomatoes, pepper and onion has been stable as observed. A basket of Hausa tomatoes which cost N15,000 a few weeks back, now costs N12,000 and even less as revealed by the traders in the market.
Also, a bag of pepper ranges from N7,000 – N10,000 depending on the type and the quality (how fresh and size of the basket). While the price of onion remains the same. Traders are of the opinion that the price fluctuates and is not fixed compared to other products.
Meanwhile the prices of provisional items such as grains, beverages, perishables and wines have gone up as observed in the market.
NAIJ.com’s weekly price check table for 21-11-2016.