- Amidst political activities ongoing in the country, prices of perishable goods and provisional items have risen
- At Ojota market, Legit.ng sought the views of some traders and they explained the current market situation ahead of Easter celebrations
- According to the traders, the prices of major goods are still sold at affordable rates while others keep fluctuating
- They attributed the price increase to seasonal factors, cost of transportation and security challenges in the northern part of the country
- Further findings by our correspondent revealed the scarcity and low supply of the goods
The prices of goods in markets across the state have witnessed slight increment. Legit.ng visited Ojota market, Ojota, Lagos, and found out the changes in the cost of some goods and fluctuation in others.
The price increase is due to seasonal factors, high cost of transportation and security challenges in the northern region of the country as revealed by business owners.
Information by some traders, tells of the upswing of some major goods that most buyers cannot do without purchasing in the market. But for goods like yam, rice, garri and vegetable they are still sold at reasonable prices but perishable items and foodstuff items have become expensive.
According to a trader who sells wares at the market, Mr. Chukwudi, the prices of most goods in the market in period like this are not expected to be fixed, they change depending on the cost price by the wholesaler and manufacturer and the ones that are imported are very expensive due to the exchange rate in the country.
He added that the demand for goods often determine the cost price in major markets across the country.
He said: "We are preparing for Easter now, buyers only come to buy what they are in dire need of and this makes things difficult for us as traders as they would only purchase the most important and leave out the less important items.
“Right now, the goods that are of high demand tend to be very expensive and traders seize the opportunity to add to the cost price of such goods so as to make more profit. A gown that goes for N1,500 or N1,800 before has risen to N2,500 upwards only those in low quality can be purchased from N1,500 below."
Speaking further, the trader explained how the price of t-shirts has also moved up from what it used to be.
"A t-shirt that costs N1,500 and N2,000 has gone up to N2,500 and N3,000, same with quality men shirts and trousers. For skirt, it is still affordable but the design and the quality of the material used in making it determines how expensive or affordable you can get it.
“We are seriously praying for the next level in the country to be a realistic one in every sector of the economy in the country,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Easter celebration is just few weeks from now and the buyers are in preparation for the festival; despite this readiness, some traders are reluctant to sell their goods come Easter as they don’t plan shopping for new goods in their shops due to the current market condition.
Some who spoke with our correspondent express dissatisfaction over the performance of the previous administration especially in the cost price of major goods in the market and recent prices ahead of the celebration.
Mrs. Odinaka, a trader at the market who sells foodstuff items in small quantity lamented over the continuous increment in the cost of foodstuff items in the market now.
“Before, you can get a milk cup of egusi at N50, N120 but now it is not so, a milk cup costs from N250 upward depending on the market visited. A bag was also sold from N55,000 to N65,000 but now it is no longer so as they are sold from N80,000 to about N120,000. Same goes with ogbono and crayfish, but that of dry pepper is fair.
“As the goods keep fluctuating, our sales level are affected to a large extent because the quantity of goods purchased now by traders is reduced and profit margin low. The most frustrating part is the fluctuating price of these goods, it is cheap today and tomorrow it is expensive; buyers are not really finding this easy with us due to their level of income.
“As we prepare for the Easter, we are praying for sales volume to increase so as to be able to meet up with the demand from sellers (wholesalers and manufacturers),” the mother of four informed Legit.ng.
In the same vein, a trader who sell goods like tomatoes, onion and pepper (Chili pepper and tatase), says the Easter celebration is an opportunity to make huge profit but the scarcity of the goods is worrisome and the price of goods are not influenced by the Easter celebration as some were expensive before this period.
Sexplained that: “This is the period for us to purchase goods in large quantity and sell at reasonable prices so as to make good sales. Buyers purchase goods now, to keep in check with the reason for the period which is the Easter that is around the corner; so as not to be left in the dark.
“Just recently, tomatoes and pepper witnessed a slight change in prices due to scarcity and low supply. This is because we are approaching the rainy season and planting season of the goods. We are out of its season gradually; which makes it expensive and scarce.
“A basket that cost N4,000, N6,000 and N8,000 before, now it cost N7,000 upwards and some traders are not even willing to sell at a cheaper rate due to the difficulty of purchase. Same goes for onion and pepper. Sales are quite encouraging and we are grateful to God as the Easter celebration draws nearer, a lot of people have started preparations from last weekend.
“For goods like tomato and pepper, their prices fluctuate, one cannot really tell of its exact price. It is really determined by the availability of the goods. If the supply of these goods are high, the price will be low and vice versa. Tomato, pepper and onion are still sold at affordable rates despite the increment in prices compared to egusi and ogbono depending on the market visited by buyers.”
With the recent political activities ongoing in the country, the market condition are not really encouraging, this was observed by a visit to some shops in the market by our correspondent, as the presence of buyers was largely seen in the market yet traders informed of poor sales after the day’s business.
A trader who sells food items like rice, beans, garri and groundnut informed of the level of sales in recent times.
He said: “The buyers are seen in the market buying goods but at the end of the day, their level of purchase is low. Yes, they come to purchase goods, but most buy in little quantity as they lament of fluctuating price of goods in the market.
“For rice and garri, their prices are still stable but for beans, it is unstable because it fluctuates overtime without the understanding of the traders. Now, you can get it a bag of rice from N13,500 wholesale price, while market price is from N14,000 upwards and garri can be purchased from N5,000 upwards. But beans, the price ranges from N24,000, N30,000, N35,000 upwards. Weeks to come, we don’t know what may become of the price of rice as it might increase if the border is closed by the government.
“Right now, we do not make good sales because by the time you deduct the daily expenses from the profit realized, you end up with nothing as profit for the day, this is unlike of us who are dealers of food items. I can tell you now that traders who sell by the roadside, in the streets and those who own shops at some major roads at the junction, make good sales than we at the market.”
In the same vein, provisional items are very expensive in the market. In reaction to this development, traders informed of increment in diary milk, cereals, beverages, detergents, cookies, biscuits, and soaps.
A trader said the change occurred recently, just when business resumed fully after the elections.
“We didn’t see this coming as we cannot really explain the reason for this new price development in provisional items. We just know there’s been a change in the cost price of these goods; the amount have increased now compare to previous months. Not only in diary milk but also in beverages, detergents, soaps and cereals to mention but a few. But I can say toiletries are quite cheap now.
“A row of diary milk that goes from N250, have risen to N350 upwards depending on the manufacturer, the brand, quantity and the market visited. For liquid milk, a dozen cost N1,200 before but now, it has risen to N1,500 upwards; this depends on the brand and market visited. Traders don’t know what has led to the change in the price of goods now but we are hopeful as the Easter celebration draws nearer,” Mummy Chinonye, a provision seller in the market informed Legit.ng correspondent.
Similarly, fish is one item that has been unstable since the economy experienced a recess three years ago. Findings by Legit.ng revealed thus that the price of fish continues to soar while some buyers settle for beef, few chicken, and others egg; traders are not smiling as it is taking a toll to the survival of their business.
A meat seller expressed his opinion over this assertion. In his views, he opined that the foreign exchange rate affect the goods that imported into the country.
“The exchange rate will continue to affect the goods that are imported into the country until the government see to the growth and development of our economy. Because, almost everything is being imported into the country and they are quite affordable but due to the levied placed on these goods they become expensive when shipped into the country.
“Now, not only is fish very expensive meat is too. Some traders can’t even purchase, so they go for the ones their money can cover which is; cow hides (ponmo), kote fish, panla fish, sawa fish but titus and croaker, it is very expensive and they don't sell it.
"Some housewives can’t even afford it too; they run to us and purchase meat according to their cash in hand. It is not really easy for us but we can’t help but sell according to how it was purchased. It is tough now but we are coping, with time, things will fall in place hopefully,” Daddy Fawaz, a meat seller at the market told our correspondent.
Interestingly, in the market, some fruits cost a reasonable amount while others that are out of season were expensive and few that are still in season, were supplied in large quantity; fruits like apple, Mango, orange, garden egg, carrot and cucumber are affordable while others are not. But the traders are optimistic of good sales ahead of the Easter celebration.
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