- Traders in markets across the state lament poor sales days after total border closure by Nigeria Customs
- Legit.ng sought the views of traders at Jakande market, Ketu, Lagos, and they explained the current market situation
- Findings at the market, revealed the increment in the price of imported goods and a reduction in locally-produce goods
- While some laud the development by the government, others informed that the step taken was at a wrong timing and hope for a better economy
The prices of goods in markets across the state rises further few days after the total closure of the Nigerian-Seme border by Nigeria Customs.
A visit to Jakande market, Ketu, Lagos by Legit.ng, showed the changes in the cost price of some goods and stability in others. According to traders, the price increase of major goods is due to the border closure while others are due to seasonal factors, high cost of transportation and security challenges in some region of the country.
Meanwhile, the partial and total closure of the land border was to curb smuggling of goods especially rice into the country and to promote locally produce goods and as well checkmate the goods brought into the country from neighbouring countries. These move though laudable by the government as revealed by some traders but has resulted to a higher inflation in recent weeks and one done at the wrong time.
In a chat with Legit.ng, a trader who sells foodstuff items informed of the hike in the cost price of some major goods that most buyers cannot do without purchasing in the market. Adding that other goods like yam, rice, garri and vegetable are affordable but perishable items are becoming expensive.
“The government is trying but they can do better. The closure of the border has affected almost all the goods in the market now. Although some are sold at reasonable prices while others are gradually increasing. The continuous increment in the cost price of goods has affected our level of patronage.
“The big basket of crayfish goes for N42,000 and a bag of dry pepper can be purchased from N35,000 upwards; these goods are quite cheap but egusi and ogbono are rising gradually. A bag of egusi cost N65,000 while ogbono, the one that draws well and taste good goes from N85,000 upwards.
“As it is now, the people have no choice than to buy food items so as to survive but when the demand of these items rises, the prices of goods will rise further,” The trader stated.
Similarly, a trader who sells wares at the market, laud the efforts by the government so far and hope for a better economy ahead.
He said: “Yes, things are hard in the country, and the border closure has affected my business to a large extent but things are not really that bad in the country. Buyers who cannot afford our goods go for grade one goods known as the ‘second-hand wares’, because they are cheaper.
“Quality ladies wares and office wares that can be purchased for N2,500 before, now goes from N3,500 upwards. While skirts, tops and polos can be purchased from N2,000 upwards, yet our loyal customers do patronize us. The brands often influence the prices of these items but the bargaining power of the buyer determines the final cost price.
“Despite the situation we are faced with as traders in the country, this is a laudable move by the government, one that should be encouraged and not condemned. It is only a matter of time, things would be better by God’s Grace.”
It’s just few days after the recent development by the Nigeria customs, most traders and buyers are already feeling the heat of the cost price of major staple foods in the market.
A buyer who pleaded anonymity expresses dissatisfaction over the border closure before and now, adding that the traders would leverage on this and further inflate the price of goods.
“The prices of goods have been on the rise since this administration took over the mantle of leadership. It keeps rising and nothing seems to be working. Before the border was closed, we were struggling to feed and now that the border has been closed we are fighting for survival on a daily basis, because the money available is not enough and cannot even go round.
“Its obvious the government is trying to promote our own-made goods but some traders would use this to their advantage and inflate the prices of most goods in the market. The market situation now is worse and we only pray for things to get better and not the other way round,” The buyer clearly expressed.
Contrary to the above view, another buyer at the market who opts for ogbono rather than rice has this to say.
The buyer told Legit.ng that: “You wont believe that the goods that are not imported, their quantity is reduced already because almost everyone is affected by the closure; the one selling and the one buyer, directly and indirectly are affected. It’s not really the fault of this present administration, it’s a foundation problem that this administration is trying to solve and it cannot be solved quickly, it’s a gradual process.
“Nigerian rice is very expensive and not neat. Some sell it at an affordable price and others at a higher price. I prepare ogbono rather than rice now because the last time I prepared rice for my children, they couldn’t eat it as they complained of stones and the taste as well; hence I go for ogbono, egusi or vegetable.
“We are not against the government promoting our own goods but the goods we are producing in the country are of low standard and quality and also very expensive compared with imported goods.”
In the same vein, a trader who sell goods like tomatoes, onion and pepper (Chili pepper and tatase), says border closure and seasonal factor has affected the level of sales.
“Now, we can’t really tell if the border closure has affected the cost price of perishable items as they are increasing gradually. A bag of pepper (rodo) that cost N6,000 before, now goes for N11,000 while a bag of pepper (tatase) goes for N9,000 while basket of fresh tomatoes can be purchased from N8,000 upwards but onion is very affordable and available.
“We didn’t expect such move at this time of the year,knowing too well that the people are complaining when border was not close and now that it has been closed, the unforeseen might occur. We are supposed to be making good sales ahead of the festive period because despite the fact that these goods are sold at affordable rates yet the level of patronage recorded in recent times is very low and we are not happy with such development. We plead with the government and those in authorities to please do the needful,” the dark in complexion trader explained to our correspondent.
Interestingly, the market condition in recent times is not really encouraging in anyway as some traders have abandoned their businesses and stalls as well, finding it really hard to cope with the harsh economic realities. This was observed by our correspondent in the market, as some shops were locked and stalls chained as the presence of few buyers was seen in the market and traders decried poor sales after the day’s business.
A trader who sells food items like rice, beans, garri, palm-oil and groundnut-oil informed of the level of sales in recent times.
He said: “Rice is now gold in the market now. Even the Nigerian rice is not all that are worth selling. Some are too dirty and contain hidden stones while others that are clean are every expensive. These clean ones look like the foreign rice, so traders sell such at expensive rates.
“In most markets now, a bag of foreign rice can be purchased from N25,000 upwards while a bag of local rice can be purchased from N23,000. Some sell the former for N27,000 and the latter N25,000. The prices differ depending on the decision of the seller.
“Before the total closure of border, beans were sold at reasonable prices but now, they are rising gradually. A small bag of beans (olotu), goes from N25,000 while oloyin (small bag) goes from N18,000 upwards, same with others.
“For garri, the price dropped but before, a bag of white garri goes for N6,000 while yellow garri goes for N7,200 upwards. As at now, a bag of yellow garri cost N6,000 while the white garri goes for N5,500 upwards; depending on the market and the choice of trader. It can be lower or higher than this.
“Palm-oil is expensive now because it is out of season. 25-litres of palm-oil goes for N11,000 upwards as against its old price of N10,000 and 25-litres of groundnut-oil can be purchased from N12,000 upwards. The groundnut-oil that are purchased from other countries, are of high quality but are repackaged here in Nigeria, then sold at an expensive prices.
“Market is not moving but we are selling. Some buyers buy in low quantity now, and others don’t even purchase certain food item again due to the hike in prices of goods. Yes, not all goods are expensive but when the demand for the less expensive ones rises, the traders would inflate the prices of such goods.”
Still at the market, provisional items are quite expensive same with fish and beef while some fruits are very much available and affordable. The cost price of diary milk, Beverages, detergents, soaps, biscuit and cereals have risen by over five percent while others remain stable. Reacting to this development, traders informed of slight increment in the cost price of the items.
A fruit seller in the market explained the cost price of the goods in the market after border closure.
“Some fruits are purchased from other countries and others within the country. Generally, not all fruits are expensive and their prices are influenced greatly by seasonal factors.
“Before the closure of the border some of these fruits were very expensive but now, they are quite affordable. Fruits like grapes, apples, oranges, pineapple, garden-egg, pawpaw, tangerine and even banana are sold at affordable rates although their cost price is not low but it is our business and we have to survive.
“Now, due to the nature of our goods; they are perishable, if you don’t sell on time, you result in loss, we sell to consumers because we feel their plight yet we don’t make good profit as expected. We are managing now as traders and the market condition is really frustrating,” the trader complained.
As few buyers are seen in the market; some traders are trying to cope with the recent development while others adjust the cost price of their goods so as to attract more customers. They are however hopeful for the next level as promised by the Buhari-Osinbajo led administration.
Border closure: Nigerians now prefer eba to rice – traders lament via Legit TV