- The first one-year of President Muhammadu Buhari's second term in office has been characterized with praises and criticism
- Activities at various markets in the state have resumed properly days after the Eid-al-Fitr celebrations following further relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown
- Legit.ng visited a market in Lagos to sought the views of traders on the impact of the Buhari-Osinbajo led administration on food prices after one year of his second term in office
- The traders expressed satisfaction over the improved recognition and patronage of Nigerian goods but pleaded for affordability in prices
Markets have resumed properly days after the Eid-al-Fitr celebrations. In the same order, the first one-year of President Muhammadu Buhari second term in office has been characterized with praises and criticism.
Legit.ng visited a market in Lagos to seek the views of traders on the impact of the Buhari-Osinbajo led administration on food prices after one year in office into second term.
Following the assessment, there’s been improvement on food production and electricity supply as well as infrastructural development in the country after one year but more is expected from the administration.
The traders at the market expressed satisfaction over the improved recognition of the Nigerian produce and patronage (Nigerian made goods) but pleaded for affordability of the goods.
As the president reiterates its commitment to the unity, growth and development of the various sector in the country, food prices continues to fluctuate in markets across the country before and after one year in office.
Following the extension of the gradual easing of the lockdown and stiffer measures put in place by the government, prices of some goods have dropped as others become more expensive in markets across the state. The cost price of some goods that rose by over five percent in the past four weeks has dropped to three percent.
At the market, the traders revealed that the Ramadan influenced the cost price of goods to an extent while buyers on the other hand informed that the rise and fall of prices of goods in the market is due to the grappling economy.
In recent times, countries have officially been affected by the coronavirus pandemic; business owners both small and big continue to suffer huge loss due to the increasing number of cases as experts have urged for a change in operations. The economic consequences of the outbreak are already being felt in markets globally.
A trader who sells perishable goods at the market said businesses has suffered losses in recent times and the performance of the government in the last one year is a bit low.
She said: “The performance of this government in the last one year is a bit low. If their work is effective, it would have reflected on the economy, but it is obvious they are just trying to patch things up. Nothing is really happening in the country. It is just too sad. The government is doing so much but it is not yielding results as expected.
“Prior to this period, the prices of perishable goods fluctuate. At times, supply is low and at other times, supply is high. One would not really blame it much on the government rather on the weather condition and seasonal factors.
“Almost everything in the market has gone up. The cost of price of goods was influenced by the Ramadan fast to an extent but not with all goods. Now, perishable goods are very expensive and we don’t even know why but it is so in the market because the supply is very low. Tomatoes that cost N100 before is sold from N250 upwards same with pepper, onion is still sold at affordable rate. A basket of tomatoes is sold from N12,000 upwards and the watery ones from N8,000. A big bag of pepper is sold from N10,000.
“Due to the pandemic, people are no longer coming to the market in large numbers to purchase goods; most buyers are scared of the virus and in turn come one in a while. We are all afraid to come into contact with this deadly virus and one needs to be very careful. And coming to the market is a bit scary; this in turn has affected businesses to a large extent.
“But assessing the administration in the last one year; i would say the economy is bad and has affected the cost of living and the government needs to wake up in the discharge of its responsibilities. notwithstanding, this administration is better than the previous ones and we are thankful for the character of the president.; we will surely overcome and move to the next level.”
Reacting to the above assertion, a trader who sells electronic products stated that the hike in the price of electronic products was influenced lately by the pandemic and the government should be applauded rather than criticized in the last one year. Adding that the products are very scarce and some traders are unable to get most of their goods due to the effect of Covid-19.
“A lot has changed in the last one year; for our kind of business, electricity has improved but there are still some issues we have been battling with; the foreign exchange issues; this has affected the cost price of the goods that are imported into the country and it started last year and we are still suffering from its effect till date.
“For some traders who travel out of the country to get goods, they can attest to the foreign exchange issues. Most imported goods like electronic products are expensive and this is due to some policy by the government. The cost of most products especially its import rate has been doubled; it is so bad that if you want to purchase some items from suppliers, they tell you the item is not available or they don’t have it at all. From this experience, you can tell what the outcome of businesses on daily basis has been fairing for the past one year and five years in view.
“Presently, business owner have not been able to travel abroad to get goods, since the outbreak of this virus, most have cancelled their trips and the importation of goods is on a decline; This has led to the fall and collapse of some businesses in Nigeria. The government can still make things happen, he has three years fix things.
“The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect businesses negatively. The economy and finance of the country depends almost entirely on oil and the pandemic has affected oil exports, the price of oil and revenue. With the turnout of events in the country now, one can only conclude that even the government still has a lot of work to do. From this, sales has been a very slow one now,” The electronic dealer informed Legit.ng.
At the market now, the prices foodstuff items are quite affordable; traders informed that the increment in previous months was due to the high cost of production of some items and the economy after one year in office.
But a trader who sells foodstuff commended the president. According to him, the prices of goods are influenced greatly by the economy but the government in the last one year has been trying to restore the economy and this cannot be achieved in just one year or five years, it takes time.
“We like things done in this country sharp sharp and that is why we are quick to blame the government for everything that did not turn out right. Prior to this period, the border closure has impacted our business positively but in recent times, the coronavirus pandemic has affected the level of sales in the market generally. In view of this, I would commend the government for it efforts so far; they are working and it is a gradual process.
“The government cannot be everywhere or make things happen everywhere but they need to change the paradigm. This administration has delivered in the area of infrastructure, electricity and food production. The price of foodstuff items has been very affordable but the market condition has been very bad and we will continue to manage because it is just temporary and not permanent. There has not been a difference so far. Egusi and ogbono are sold at affordable prices for some time now, before it was not so. The prices are influenced by the different types and contents of the bag. Some traders sell at a cheaper rate and others at an expensive rate; depending on the cost of purchase and the market visited.
“The pandemic caught us all off guard and no one prepared for this, not even the government. Now, I would rate the performance of the president in the last one year average. The administration has done a lot to the development of some sectors in the country and we are grateful for that. It is just that they cannot make things work at once. We will get there in due time,” The trader expressed.
Fairly, goods like yam, fish, garri are still sold at an increased price but rice and beans are sold at reasonable rates. The traders who sell the items lament over increment in cost of purchase but appreciate the government’s efforts so far. A trader who sells rice, beans and garri shared her view with Legit.ng.
She said: “We should not blame this administration over everything that failed so far. They are working very hard to put everything in order and we are hopeful things would change for the better in due time. Before the pandemic, the government has seen to the promotion of its made in Nigeria goods especially the local rice. This has been well received by the buyers before and now that the pandemic is here, the buyers are left with no other choice than to embrace it the more.
“So with this, one can only applaud the government in the last one year but we only plead for the reduction in the cost price of our local produce. I would score the president a 5 over 10. It is not easy but we will continue to support our leaders.
“Prices of goods in previous months, rises and fall but the case of rice is a different one entirely due to the ban placed on its importation which is commendable. For beans, they are sold at reasonable prices but now, garri is a bit expensive. Garri is a bit expensive because of the high cost of cassava not the pandemic but the economy.
“Beans are affordable and available while the cost price of rice is reduced a bit too. A small bag of beans is sold from N18,000 upwards while a bag of garri is sold from N12,000 upwards. For rice, a bag is sold from N16,000 upwards depending on the type of rice and size of the bag. A derica of rice is sold from N250 now, N350 and N400, for the local one while the foreign one goes for N450 and a paint of garri cost N700 and some trader sell above this cost price.”
But a provisional dealer is in disagreement with the above assertion. According to him, the economic condition of the country is an indication of a failed system.
“Yes, the government has been working from 2015 and we re-elected him in 2019 and it is one year now, but much has not been achieved so far with the economy; since they are yet to get the economy back on track, it showed that they have failed in the last one year and five years conclusively; yet we cannot blame the present administration for some of the issues we are currently suffering from now, it dated back since 1999.
“We all know that the biggest issue we are faced with in this country is the economy and once the economy is improved, there will be significant change in other sectors. Of a truth, this administration met a collapsed system and now they are working tirelessly to get things back on track but they can do better, we are far behind when you talk of development. It is really a sad tale to tell but the administration can do better.
“There has been shortage of some consumer goods and this has led to an increment in their cost price. We have been struggling in the last one year and business is very slow compare to previous administrations. The prices of provisional items are doubled and this has affected the purchasing power of buyers at large. A lot has happened in the past one year but we are begging the government to make the economy better, so that we can live to the standard of the 'Giant of Africa'. So far, their performance is little compared to what they promised but i would rate this administration on an average level,” The trader stated.
A buyer who pleaded anonymity in the quest of getting a good bargain from a fish seller told Legit.ng that the administration meant well for Nigerians.
She explained thus: “Fish is expensive but not all are expensive; the type and market visited is quite key. Also, the quantity of purchase influences a good bargain from the sellers. For some seller, if you are buying in small quantity, they would increase the cost price, but for others, who want to make quick sales, irrespective of the quantity, they tend to reduce the cost price of the goods and make good profit.
“Depending on the type you are buying. With the recent change we are experiencing, one need to change his or her pattern of feeding; you eat according to your purse. Don’t spend above your earnings. Most people do not know how to manage and this is why they all come back to complain about everything that is not working. We should learn to adapt to change and make the best of it. The government is not to be blamed for everything. We should learn as followers to take responsibility for our lives and live meaningfully.
“For me, in the last one year and five years conclusively, there has been a change in the system of administration. The president is honest and wants the best for Nigeria and this can only be done if we as followers encourage and appreciate their efforts by praying for them to succeed and not to fail the more. It is not easy to take over the mantle of leadership and start to fix things that already are on the verge of collapse. It is a tedious job and we will continue to support our leaders with words of encouragement and hopefully, things would get better in due time.”
Still in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in the country and beyond, food prices continues to rise and fall due to its effects on the economy of the nation. For some traders, nothing seems to be happening with the economy, but for others, they express hope of a developed economy on the Buhari-Osinbajo led administration. But with the presence of few buyers at the market, the administration indeed has a lot to offer Nigerians; although it’s a work-in progress as the traders are expectant of a better Nigeria.
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