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    HomeNewsFood price keeps rising as Nigerians groan over high cost of living

    Food price keeps rising as Nigerians groan over high cost of living

    By Nura Ridwan Ibrahim

    Citizens across Nigeria have uncovered concerns over the rising prices of essential commodities such as rice, flour, sugar and cement.

    This is just as the naira keeps on suffering depreciation, thereby mitigating the purchasing power of the people.

    Read Also: Residents lament as 50kg of local rice hits N47,500 in Kano

    Daily Trust’s findings in Kano, Kwara, Ebonyi, Oyo and Lagos states as well as Abuja showed challenging situations for various groups of people, with some residents resorting to prayers while others calling on the government to take decisive control measures.

    Daily Trust infograph about the recent changes on some commodities in the country. Designed by Ali A. Geidam.

    In Kano, it was gathered that a 50kg bag of locally milled rice, which was sold at ₦47,700 early January, is now selling between ₦58,500 and ₦60,000 depending on the brand, while a 50kg bag of flour, which was sold at ₦35,500 early January is now ₦40,000.

    Similarly, a 50kg bag of sugar at Singer Market is now selling at ₦73, 000 as against ₦62, 000 sold in early January. A bag of cement, which was ₦5, 500 in the beginning of January 2024, rose to ₦7, 300 as of Thursday.

    According to a civil servant and a father of five, Malam Shehu Usman, the current situation is beyond explanation. He described the price hikes as something that needed divine intervention.

    “We have to turn to God and seek his forgiveness, because what is happening goes beyond human explanation. Imagine an increase of ₦10,300 within 30 days on a 50kg bag of rice and no one is saying anything?

    “To many of us, life has never been so difficult than what we are going through presently. Many households cannot afford three meals in a day,” he said.

    Another resident, Isah Bello, said his major concern is on how people will cope with the situation during Ramadan when Muslims observe fast. He stressed the need for the authorities to do the needful before things get out of control.

    In Abuja, the situation seems same. Abag of flour has hit ₦44, 000 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Daily Trust investigation revealed.

    Read Also: INTERVIEW: Adaptation best solution to climate change in Nigeria – Prof. _Tanko

    Lamenting the situation, a caterer at Wuse Market, Abuja, Mrs Kafayat Musa said her profit had reduced drastically.

    “Just last week, it (flour) was sold for ₦41, 000. I no longer make much profit, despite increasing the cost of egg rolls, doughnuts, among others. The government should please do something,” she said.

    Investigations conducted across major markets in the nation’s capital also revealed that a bag of sugar now costs between ₦72,000 and ₦75,000, as against about ₦60,000 and ₦62,000 early this year.

    Rice now sells between ₦55, 000 and ₦61, 000 for a 50kg bag, depending on the area of purchase. The same quantity sold between ₦45, 000 and ₦55, 000 earlier this year.

    Similarly, a bag of cement has hit ₦6, 500 in Abuja.  Last week, it was sold between ₦5, 200 and ₦5, 400.

    Similarly, in Kwara where cement is sold at ₦6,200 many distributors and retailers lamented the scarcity of the commodity.

    According to Hajia Lateefat Abdullahi, owner of Orire Cement Trading Company: “It has been difficult getting supply from distributors to satisfy customers in Ilọrin.”

    Speaking on the issue, a major distributor, Mr Olatunji Ayantola, attributed the sharp increase in the price of cement to several factors.

    “What happened before were speculations, market fluctuation and inflation. Initially, there was scarcity due to poor loading from the companies over the issue of gas, which reduced delivery and created the surge we were battling with before the increments,” he said.

    In Lagos, it has been observed that a 50kg bag of foreign rice was sold between ₦65, 000 and ₦70, 000 while the local rice stands at  ₦65, 000. 10kg of Semovita was sold for ₦11, 500 at Iponri Market, while a paint bucket of beans stands at ₦13, 500.
    It was also gathered that a bag of sugar is now sold at ₦63, 000.

    Further investigations revealed that the prices were almost the same in Port Harcourt, Rivers state; Ibadan, Oyo state and Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, among others.

    Mrs Peace Saviour, who owns a restaurant in Lagos, lamented low patronage by customers as a result of the hike in price of commodities and the low purchasing power of citizens across the country.
    ‘Everything has gone high,” she said.

    “Maggi moved from ₦700 to ₦1, 200 per pack and Spaghetti is ₦750. We are not making any gain; we are just struggling to feed the family. The money will go towards buying things (family’s essentials),” she said.

    She revealed that she has reduced the quantity of food she sells to her customers, calling on the government to salvage the plight of the people.

    “Instead of increasing the price again, we reduce the quantity. People are not eating to get satisfied. I don’t have many customers like before. A plate of food I was selling for ₦300 is now ₦800.

    “The government should bring down the price of things. They should open borders. What we are producing in Nigeria is not enough; when things were brought from across the borders, things were affordable,” she said.

    An apprentice, Ajayi Oluwafemi, said it has become unbearable to survive in Nigeria as the cost of living keeps going high while workers are poorly paid by both government and private organisations.

    “Nigeria has become something else. If I have my way to get out of this country, I will not come back again. The country is full of stress. The government has failed the people,” he said.

    In Ebonyi, some residents in Abakaliki, the state capital, said the rising cost of food items in the market is because of the hike in the price of petrol by the federal government.

    A resident, Mr David Eze blamed the government for increasing the cost of a litre of petrol from ₦270 to ₦650, thereby affecting the cost of transportation of the goods.

    Another trader, Mrs Chogozie Agu, who deals in provisions and other food items, urged the government to eradicate task forces on food items.

    He said they extort money from the trucks and the drivers on highways, thus leading to the increases in the cost of goods.

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