- The prices of some basic food items in markets across Lagos state have become relatively low ahead of the Id-El-Kabir celebrations
- Findings by Legit.ng at Agric market, Ikorodu, Lagos reveals a reduction in the price in the price of some basic food items and stability in others
- At the market, some traders who spoke with our correspondent revealed a drop in the cost of purchase and others informed of high level of sales
- Meanwhile, the low turnout of buyers render ram dealers helpless in major markets across the state
Ahead of the Id-El-Kabir celebrations, the prices of some basic food items in markets across Lagos state have become relatively low.
Findings by Legit.ng at the market revealed a reduction in the price of basic food items like rice and garri and an increment in the price of others.
Traders attribute this change to the economic situation of the country leading to the fluctuation in the prices of virtually all goods across major markets in the country.
The Sallah festival is a popular Muslim festival that brings Muslims around the world together in celebration, but in spite of this the prices of goods often take a negative turn as it will soar from the beginning of the month through the end of August.
The festival is the second of three Muslim holidays that are celebrated worldwide each year. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, Isma’il (Ishmail) as an act of submission to God’s (Allah) command.
Popularly known as Id-el-Kabir, and also called Eid-al-Adha in English, the Sallah festival name translates to the ‘Festival of the Sacrifice’ or the ‘Sacrifice Feast’.
Mr. Jacob is a trader who sells foodstuff items like ogbono, egusi, crayfish and dry pepper, and he expressed satisfaction over the current market price.
He informed our correspondent that: “Prior to this period, the price of egusi kept soaring but just this week, it has reduced and is now affordable. But for ogbono, it is still the same. The price only fluctuates same with crayfish and dry pepper.
“We have different types of egusi and the prices range from N100,000 to N150,000 in previous weeks but from this week, we purchase a bag from N85,000 and below. A bag of egusi cost N40,000 but not anymore as the price increased by 30 percent. The price of ogbono keeps fluctuating and it cost N85,000.
“For pepper, we have the one that cost N38,000 and the ones that cost N40,000. A big nylon of crayfish cost N24,000 as against its old price of N26,000. But the rise and costs of goods are due to the economic condition of the country.”
For now, fresh tomatoes, pepper and onion are still very expensive at the market and the traders attribute it to Sallah celebration.
A trader at the market identified simply as Iya Feranmi informed that the Sallah celebrations have influenced the price of perishable items, adding that the produce is available in some major markets and scarce in others.
She said: “It is the usual trend that goods will be expensive during this period. Tomatoes and pepper are very expensive, same with the onion. A basket of fresh tomatoes ranges from N 5,000, N7,000, N10,000 and N15,000 while pepper is higher as a big bag of pepper cost N22,000 and a basket cost N15,000. A bag of onion cost N24,000.
“In some markets, it is available and in others, it is scarce. In weeks to come now, the produce will be scarce and this will make it more expensive. As the festival draws nearer, the prices will continue to soar.”
For Augustine, a trader who sells food items like rice, beans, garri, and groundnut, the availability and non-availability of goods make it either expensive or affordable.
“For goods like rice and garri, the prices are still fair but for beans and groundnut, they are quite expensive. A bag of rice, that was sold before for N15,000, now goes for N14,000 and the bag of rice that cost N14,500 now goes for N13,500. A bag of beans (Oloyin) cost N26,000 and a bag of beans (Oloone) cost N37,000 while a bag of beans (Olotu) cost N44,000 and N56,000 respectively.
“For garri, a small bag of (yellow garri) cost N7,000 and a bag of (White garri) cost 6,000. The big bag of garri, can be purchased from N9,000 and N12,000 as against their old price of N13,000 and N15,000. A bag of groundnut that cost N28,000 now goes for N37,000.
“The prices of goods and commodities increased due to the scarcity of some products. Not only will the celebration affect goods like fruits and other farm produces that comes from the northern part of the country but the economic situation of the country is also part of the problem,” he stated.
At Agric market, Ikorodu, Lagos, traders anticipate bumper sales as they stocked their stores with new goods ahead of the ‘Ileya’ festival.
In a chat with a trader referred to as Mustapha, it was gathered that there is no fixed price of the goods in the market, noting that they are subject to change at a particular market day.
He said: “Depending on the market condition on a particular day of purchase of the goods, the prices of the goods given above are still subject to change. They could still go higher than the current prices. these prices are not fixed but depends on the quantity of goods purchased, the size of the bags and market location.
“For some time now, the price of beans has increased, while that of rice witnessed a slight reduction. Sales have plunged lately due to the purchasing power of the consumers.”
Catherine, a consumer at the market, highlighted the decline in the standard of living in Nigeria despite the present administration's effort in reviving the economy.
According to her: “In previous months, the prices of goods in the market were rising at an alarming rate, with limited cash in hands of consumers for purchase. Despite the government’s efforts in reviving the economy, life has been very hard and unbearable for many people with low income.
“Bearing in mind the current critical economic situation in the country, it is very disturbing. I plead with the Federal Government to please come to the aid of the citizens by regulating price control because we no longer eat healthily but fill our stomach due to the rise in the price of basic food items.”
Similarly, an average-sized ram now costs almost twice the amount it was sold during last year’s Sallah celebration. Ram which is a major livestock used in festive period, have increased a bit. Though the prices vary but they are still sold at an affordable amount depending on the bargaining power of the buyer.
At the market, there is a stability in the price of groundnut oil and palm oil. The traders’ express satisfaction over the level of sales so far.
Mrs. Ifeyinwa said the reduction in the price of the product and the increment in the quantity has led to the change in the purchasing power of the buyers.
She said: “This week, we experienced a change in the cost of purchase of virtually all goods in the market. This has therefore led to the stability of some goods and affordability in others.
“A 25-litre of vegetable oil, which previously sold for N11, 500, now cost N11, 500, palm oil decreased from N11, 000 to N10, 500. But the branded oil can be purchased from N12,000 upwards depending on the market location.
“Although the people still complain of low funds but sales have been on the rise lately.”
In addition, for new yams, medium-sized can be purchased from N4,000.00 upwards as against their old price of N2,500.00 for five tubers while old yams or water yams are very expensive.
Further survey by our correspondent revealed that the cost of goods, products and commodities keeps increasing for one reason or the other.
Some buyers who spoke with Legit.ng lamented the fluctuating prices of food items, kerosene, gas and even to the extent of housing as many residents find it difficult to rent an apartment in order to give themselves the third basic human wants, which is a shelter.
While some blamed it on the harsh economic condition, foreign exchange rate and security issues in the Northern part of the country where most of the goods are purchased, others feel it is the Islamic festival that has affected the prices of goods.
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