- Many Nigerians have commended the first 100 days of President Muhammadu Buhari's second term in office
- But the change in the cost price of most goods in the market has been linked to the partial closure of the Nigerian-Benin border by the government upon assuming office the second term
- Legit.ng visited Onigbongbo market, Maryland, Lagos, to seek the views of traders on the impact of the administration so far
- Traders at the market revealed the administration has a lot to offer whilst they are expectant of a better economy ahead
Nigerians from different quarters have hailed the first 100 days of President Muhammadu Buhari's second term in office. From 2015 till date; the President brought about the reduction on imports of agricultural products in order to enable self-sufficiency in food production and consumption.
Also, the recurring increment in the price of fuel and fuel scarcity that greets the country annually has become a thing of the past, while the Buhari-led administration has been credited with stabilizing transport fare which caused ease in transportation of goods and services in markets across the country.
Prior to this period, the Buhari-led administration improved the standard of Nigeria’s agricultural exports to align with global standards due to the rejection of our produce at the European Union border controls.
The president also initiated programmes as well as enterprises geared towards promoting community based farm business activities for job and wealth creation in rural areas and as well made available funds to rural farmers who cultivate major crops during the wet and dry season.
From the above attributes, the president is indeed committed to the unity, growth and development of various sectors in the country.
In spite the above assertion, however, some food prices have soared while others continue to fluctuate in major markets across the state before and after 100 days in office.
In view of this, Legit.ng visited Onigbongbo market, Maryland, Lagos to seek the views of traders on the impact of the administration so far.
At the market, some traders lauded the efforts of the government so far while others plead for a better economy in years to come.
A yam seller at the market who spoke with our correspondent affirmed that there has been improvement in some sectors of the country but urged the leaders in their respective offices to deliver on their promise in order to have a better economy.
“The president is a man of integrity and you can tell from his fight against corruption. We all know how the economy was before he assumed office but we are sure things would get better in due time.
“So far, there has been instability in the prices of goods in the market. But for our business, the economy only affects the purchasing power of buyers. Right now, there’s new yam in the market and their prices are relatively low. The only problem we have now is the cost of purchase and the low purchasing power of buyers because the cost of purchase increased by ten percent. Before, we buy 100 tubers of new yam for N50,000 but now, it goes for N70,000.
“We know the government is really trying to change so many things that have gone wrong in the system but we implore them to please make life easy for the common man on the street,” the trader pleaded.
A mother of four who sells fruit in the market, appreciated the recent efforts by the government so far and urged the administration to step up their game further.
The trader stated that: “Our president is working but he can do better. My stall is scanty; this is because of the economy. Things are hard for us as traders but we will survive. We know the prices of goods in the market are not fixed. Some are influenced by change in weather and others by season. As at now, some fruits are expensive and others affordable. For fruits like carrot, cucumber, pineapple, green pepper and Irish potato are expensive while grapes, oranges, pawpaw, tangerine and guava to mention but a few, are affordable.
“A bag of Irish potato that cost N28,000 before, now cost N40,000 and a bag of cabbage cost N12,000 as against its old price of N10,000. For carrot, the bag is sold from N6,000 now and a bag of cucumber that cost N5,000 before, now cost N7,000.
“The President is working tirelessly to make the economy better, we can tell from the border closure, but we know these things take time and so we are also waiting on them to do the needful in due time. We pray God grant our leaders the wisdom to govern the people well because it is not easy.”
In previous months, some goods in the market fluctuate further but findings by Legit.ng at the market revealed the reduction in the price of some goods.
Goods like beans, garri are very affordable but rice is now very expensive following the partial closure of the Nigerian-Benin border while the price of foodstuff items like ogbono, egusi and ogbono experienced a reduction in their prices.
Another trader in the market who sells food items like rice, maize, millet, garri, beans and corn informed of different change in price of the goods.
He said: “Food prices in previous years, rises and falls but not to this extent of not falling. The government is definitely not to be blamed for everything as they are seeking ways to promote the good course of this country but we are yet to see any improvement.
“Recently, beans has become affordable and available in the market, while rice is not; the reason is not far-fetched. A small bag of beans can be purchased from N9,000 while the big bag from N18,000 upwards. For rice, the local rice is the one that can be purchased from N18,000 while the foreign rice cost N22,000 and above. In the market, the cost price of garri is relatively low. A bag of garri can be purchased from N5,000 upwards.
“The government, after closing the border, should try and make the processing of the local goods very easy by providing the available machinery needed to fast track production; because foreign rice are very neat, taste good and preferred by the people compare to the local rice.”
Relatively, perishable goods like tomatoes, pepper and onion were quite affordable but fish, turkey and chicken are still sold at an increased price. Traders who sell these goods lament over increment in the cost price yet laud the government’s efforts in the security of lives and properties so far.
A trader who has been in the perishable business for over five years now explained in detail the efforts of the government so far.
She said: “Generally, the economy has affected everything in the country but we appreciate the efforts of the government so far especially in the security of lives and properties of the people.
“Tomato, pepper and onion are affordable in the market now but our major problem is cost of transportation and carriage which is a result of the bad economy leading to low purchasing power of buyers.
“The people keep crying no money because they are the ones feeling the heat and not the leaders. Presently, money is not in excess like the previous administration; in turn led to the serious management of funds by certain individuals in various departments.
“Have been in this business for over five years but been doing other related trade before now and I would say the president is really trying but things cannot change overnight, it cannot be sudden. For me, the last 100 days has been tasking for the president but he can do better.”
Further findings in the market by Legit.ng revealed the increment in the cost price of foodstuff items. Traders informed of the increased in the cost price of items and reduction in patronage leading to low profit margin in the last 100 days.
Meanwhile, a trader who sells foodstuff items in the market complains bitterly over the poor performance of the administration so far. According to him, prices of goods have soared and others keep fluctuating while some traders are still in the business, others have packed up.
“People are suffering; foods prices have not witnessed any significant change for the past 100 days. Ogbono and egusi are one of the food items that rise and fall for over four months now; and as traders we don’t really understand the cause.
“We have different types of ogbono; we have the native ogbono, the badagry ogbono and the ordinary ogbono. The price of these three differs. The ordinary is not preferred by many because it does not draw while the native and badagry is very expensive and most preferred. Same with egusi; we have the hand pick and the machine own. A derica of egusi cost N1,200 and a cup cost N150 and N200 while a paint bucket of ogbono goes for N9,000 and a cup cost N250 upward, for the one that draws well and taste good.
“Considering the market condition now, I would rate the performance of the president in the last 100 days 4/10 because nothing has changed so far and we have not seen the changes as promised by him,” The trader told our correspondent.
This survey by Legit.ng showed the mixture of hope and despair as the presence of few buyers were seen in the market and most traders sat idly in their shops and stalls.
While the future looks bleak for some traders and buyers in the market, others express hope on the Buhari-Osinbajo administration.
Street Gist: 100 days after, what has President Buhari achieved? via Legit TV