As Nigerians prepare to celebrate this year’s easter, food prices have increased slightly, in continuation of a culture of hike in food prices during festive periods.
When our reporter visited the Deidei market in Bwari Area Council, the prices of most food items had gone up as consumers scuttled around in a last-minute shopping bid.
A bag of foreign rice which sold for 44,000 naira in January was listed for 45,000 naira while local rice went from 35,000 naira to 38,000 naira.
Similarly, a bag of 5kg semovita sold for 3,700 naira as against the 3,500 naira price in January, 1kg of semovita sold for 800 naira, a 100 naira increase from the January retail price.
The biggest increase within the stated period was in the price of tomatoes and pepper. A big basket of tomatoes is currently selling for N30,000 as against N24,000 in January while a smaller basket is selling for 3,500 as against 2,000 naira in January. A small basket of pepper currently retails at N3,000 as against N2,000 in January.
In the frozen food/meat section, 1kg of beef, chicken and turkey retailed for N3000, N2400 and N3900. In January they were sold at a price of N3000, N2200 and N3800. The price of beef was unchanged within this period.
For cooking oil, a 5 litre galon of King’s vegetable oil rose to N7,500 from N7,300 in January. While the 1 litre galon went up by N200, currently retailing for N1800 as against N1600 in January.
Some of the traders and consumers who spoke with our correspondent lamented the high food prices noting that things are becoming unbearable in the country.
Omolade Favour who was in the market to buy food items her family will consume during easter lamented the high food prices describing the situation as ‘very bad’.
“Things have gone very bad in this country, I was in this market few weeks ago and the prices have gone up now, I had to cut out a lot of things from my budget and just buy what I can afford. Things are getting out of hand. The government should do something,” she said.
Mallam Shuaibu Adamu, a pepper seller in the market blamed the high cost of food items on the farmers.
“No be our fault, na as we dey buy we dey sell, things don cost even from the farm, so we no get choice but to increase our own price too, so we fit make profit on top,” he told our reporter.
Meanwhile, our correspondent observed that some traders are back to insisting on cash payments as the naira scarcity experienced in recent weeks disappears.
Attempts to pay by electronic means (transfer) were rebuffed as the traders insisted that cash was now everywhere.
“Cash don dey everywhere, if you no get, go and collect from POS because this transfer wahala too much,” a fish monger told our correspondent.