- It is almost a norm in Nigeria for prices of goods that moved up quickly not to come down in due time
- Barely a month that President Muhammadu Buhari re-emerged, Nigerians have taken to various platforms to express their opinion and are optimistic of the next level he promised them
- For over three years now, most families have adopted various strategies to cope with escalating prices of goods as well as other staple foods due to foreign exchange rate, grappling economy and other factors to mention but a few
- Meanwhile, other food items maintained their old prices but only few are experiencing increment
It has become a tradition in the Nigerian system for prices of goods to rise and never come down again due to various changes and form of leadership.
For some people, the changes witnessed affect their consumption pattern and their purchasing power while for others; the tide is turned in their favour.
Overtime, we have witnessed the prices of major goods that were quite affordable but they have risen significantly since the President Muhammadu Buhari- led administration. On this premise, Legit.ng visited Ogba market, to find out four goods whose prices have soared from 2015 to 2019.
1. RICE AND BEANS
Rice is one of the most consumed food item in the market, across the country. Same goes for beans.
A lot of traders in the market, who deal majorly in rice, often smile to the bank as most buyers in some states cannot but include the item in their food shopping list.
Prior to this period, a bag of rice, depending on the type and state as well as market visited, can be purchased from N9,000, N10,500 and N11,000 respectively but not for the local rice (Ofada and abakaliki rice); as these two are quite expensive due to the various stages involved in processing them.
As at the time of compiling this report, however, the price of rice has risen to about N11,000, N13,000, N14,000, N15,000 and even N16,000 respectively. And this makes it difficult for traders as well as buyers, to cope with the seasonal change.
Some blame it on the economy; others blame it on the current administration’s decision to close the country’s border; as the imported rice are viewed as affordable and the locally made ones, expensive.
In recent times, beans has been the most expensive food item in the market and consumers have not stopped lamenting due to its unstable price- especially those purchased from the northern part of the country.
For beans, there are different types and their prices vary depending on the size of the bag, the type and as well the content in the bag. A bag of beans which usually costs N13,000, N14,000, N15,000 to about N18,000, now goes from N24,000; and a derica which was sold from 140 to about N180, now costs N200, N230 and N250. Sometimes it is sold from N280 upwards.
Garri is one food product in the market that cannot be ignored by many in West Africa and most especially in Nigeria.
Because of its affordability, garri is enjoyed by all. The rich and the poor all consume garri but the consumption pattern differs; some enjoy it with the mixture of cold water, milk and sugar while others prefer drinking it alone.
Meanwhile, garri is a staple food and mostly eaten in all of West Africa, it is one food that every common man craves for, and it is locally produced.
Prior to this period, a bag of garri could be purchased from N4,000 to about N5,000 but now, garri is one food item that rises and falls and the price unstable.
The price of a bag of yellow garri differs from that of white garri, the bigger the content of the bag, the higher the price. A small bag of garri can be purchased from N6,000 upwards in major markets across the state while the big bags are not affordable anymore by the consumers.
3. MELON (EGUSI) AND OGBONO
Egusi is also one food item that have skyrocketed in the last three years, and counting. In Nigeria, egusi soup is enjoyed with pounded yam, semovita and sometimes, garri (eba).
It is unarguably the most popular Nigerian soup and about the most sought after in the market; but overtime, Nigerian traders and buyers have kept lamenting the high cost of the item and scarcity as well.
Melon is one of the most expensive products in the market, yet the cheapest crop to grow. The price is greatly influenced by seasons, weather conditions and even the economy of the country as informed by traders.
The seeds are now seen as 'gold' in the market as the price keeps rising and traders keep lamenting. Before, a bag of egusi could be purchased from N35,000 to about N45,000 but now, it is not so as a bag of egusi now goes from N65,000 upwards depending on the size of the bag, the content, the market visited and the type of egusi purchased.
Ogbono, is also an item that has become very expensive in the most markets across the state. Before, a bag cost between N60,000 and N80,000. But presently, a bag of ogbono has risen beyond the imagination of traders, as it goes for N100, 000 upwards while the derica can be purchased from N2,500 upward.
4. PERISHABLE GOODS (fish, turkey, and chicken, tomato, pepper and onions)
Perishable goods cannot be left out among food items that have skyrocketed for four years now.
For tomato, pepper and onion, whenever it is rainy season, they become very expensive or relatively scarce and the supply becomes low. The price is influenced by the weather condition as well as the seasonal pattern involve in its planting and growing period; but in recent times, the economy has affected the prices of these goods.
Before, a basket of tomato was purchased from N2,500, N3,500, N4,500, and N5,000 but now, it has become expensive as it goes from N6,000 upwards and this has to do with the availability of the goods, once it is scarce in the market, a basket can be sold from N14,000 upwards and N16,000, N18,000 and N20,000; while a bag of onion that cost N12,000, N15,000 before, now goes for N18,000, 22,000 and even N35,000; depending on the type of onion and the size of the bag as well as the market visited.
Consumers who love to cook with fish have shifted their preference, not to the best ones, but to the affordable ones, due to their cost price in markets across the state.
From 2015 to 2019, many housewives have adopted various strategies to cope with escalating prices of perishable goods as well as other staple foods.
Most prefer the kpanla fish to titus, kote and croaker fish in the market now. Some don’t even go for turkey and chicken due to the reduction in their quantity after purchase.
Now, traders who sell frozen foods like fish, turkey and chicken lament poor sales and a reduction in the profit compared to previous years.
We have different types of frozen fish, and their prices are greatly influenced by the size of the carton, the size of the fish and the type of fish as well.
A carton of titus fish can be purchased for between N12,000 and N14,000, but now, it sells for about N18,000. A carton of panla fish could be purchased from N4,500 upwards, but it has now risen to N8,000 upwards while croaker fish is the most expensive among them all. A carton sells for N28,000 upwards as against its old price of N22,000 and N23,000.
The prices of chicken and turkey are also not left out as a carton before cost about N8,000 and N9,000 but now, has risen to N10,000 and N11,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, findings by Legit.ng in most market across the state have thus revealed the reduction in the quantity, quality and content of these goods. Traders at the market informed that the exchange rate is one out of many factors influencing the prices of most goods that are imported into the country.
These goods are only sold at the aforementioned prices above in major markets. Also, in some state, the goods are quite expensive and purchased in higher rates by consumers as well as traders. It is therefore imperative to note that the cost price and selling price of these goods varies and changes, depending on the market visited.
The new mantra is tagged 'next level', but Nigerians are already frustrated with their previous mode of leadership and hoped for the best years ahead.
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