- As the world continues to battle the COVDI-19 pandemic, the Nigerian economy is faced with a continuous decline in growth
- While the struggle to stay relevant by business owners persists daily, food prices has been a source of concern to many in the country
- Legit.ng visited the market this week to sought from traders their opinion on the price difference of goods before and during the pandemic
- According to the traders, there has been a huge difference in the cost price of goods in recent times and thus purchasing power of buyers has been affected
Not only has the coronavirus pandemic affected our existence as humans, the source of livelihood of many has been shaken. Economies around the world continue have continued to witness reduced economic activities same leading to fall in cash flow and rise in the cost of living. For some, it is no longer business as usual and for others, there’s a need for adjustment in order to live and live well.
Prior to this period, following the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a decline in export and this has affected the importation of certain goods which has led to inflated prices of such goods; for goods that are produced locally, the border closure impacted on it positively while the ones that are imported, its impact has been a negative one.
In Nigeria, the affordability and availability of goods depends largely on the economy, the weather condition and their season. Due to the escalating global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chain in Nigeria has been affected to a large extent. Consequently, Nigeria is awakening to the new economic order and social reality. Experts advised of change in the normal way of living so proper adjustment would be achieved in a short while.
Recently, the price of some goods increased drastically and others fluctuate further but traders informed of unknown reasons following the development; in view of this, Legit.ng visited the market recently to confirm from traders the price difference of goods before coronavirus pandemic and now.
At the market, some traders hint on the price difference of goods while others shed more light on the effect so far on businesses at large.
A trader at the market who sells food items like rice, beans, garri and groundnut shed more light on the prices of goods before this crisis and now.
According to him, the cost price of some goods had increased due to the border closure and the ones manufactured locally, the cost of processing as well cost of materials used increased too.
The rice seller explained thus: “For some time, the economy was really in bad shape, as cost of living rises, income dropped. Before the coronavirus, we were battling with the border closure which affected the cost price of imported goods in the country. Also, the border impacted positively on the cost price goods that were manufactured locally while the ones imported were expensive; this affected a lot of things in the country and it still does.
“The cost price of goods in the country that were expensive is caused by the high cost of production while the ones that were affordable were influenced by seasonal factor and weather condition. For local goods, the cost of production is very high and the raw materials used few hence their cost price doubled. And truth is goods that were imported from neighbouring countries are affordable compare to the ones produced here.
“A bag of foreign rice before the pandemic was sold from N13,000 and N14,000 upwards while the bag of local rice was sold from N11,000 and N12,000 upwards and some that are branded higher than the aforementioned price. Now, a bag of foreign rice sells from N25,000 upwards and local rice from N19,000 upwards.
“Beans are not really expensive because we have different types and depending on the demand, the cost price is still sold at affordable rate. A bag of beans (oloyin) cost N22,000 before the pandemic and now, it is sold from N15, 000 upwards as some sells theirs from N18,000. And for beans (oloone and olotu) the size of their bags determine the cost price as well the content of the bags. The big-sized bag cost N30,000 upwards now and before the pandemic, it fluctuates.
“The cost of purchase for garri is not influenced by the pandemic; the price is not stable. At times, it is affordable in the market and at other times, it is expensive. The cost of processing it as wells he materials used which is cassava determines to an extent the cost price of garri. Before, a small bag of garri is sold from N5,000 and N6,000 respectively and the big bag from N10,000 and N11,000 upwards but now, a bag of garri sells from N14,000 upwards and the big bag from N20,000 upwards.
“The price difference so far has affected the level of sales and patronage too because of the pandemic as most people are out of job, unemployment rate is high now and income dropped further. The effect of the pandemic on businesses is way too much; everything is expensive in the market even the smallest item.”
There are goods whose demand influences the cost price and cost of purchase; these goods have high preference hence their increment in prices and reduction in supply. The market structure in the country varies and this also influences the supply and demand of goods in all ramifications.
Across every sector and ethnic group in Nigeria, there are foods mostly consumed by Nigerians daily and their popularity is no joke. Such and one are the food items- egusi and ogbono; they are grounded and used for preparing assorted dishes such as soup.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the cost of purchase of these food items rises and fall leading to fluctuation in their cost price as informed by traders at the market.
Presently, Legit.ng in a chat with a seller of foodstuff items, he informed of the present cost price of the goods as well their previous cost of purchase.
The foodstuff dealer who sells in wholesale price informed that: “There is a huge difference in the cost price of goods in the market. I do not only sell egusi and ogbono but also crayfish, dry pepper, groundnut, palm-oil, groundnut-oil and food items like rice, beans and garri. We sell almost everything so as to make more money here in the market. For some time now, the prices of most goods in the market skyrocketed due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. It is not so in previous years; but the economy has contributed a whole lot to the increment and fluctuation in the cost price of some goods.
“Before the pandemic, some traders sell a bag of egusi from N60,000 depending on how big the bag is; but now it is sold from N45,000 for small bag while the big bag is sold from N80,000 upwards. For ogbono, the bag was very expensive as it was sold from N100,000 upwards but now, it is sold from N90,000 and some sell it lesser than that depending on the type of ogbono.
“Crayfish has it season; when its the season where crayfish is very much available, it will be very cheap but when its not in season, it will be expensive; a nylon would be sold from N18,000 and two nylon would be sold from N28,000. Now, it is in its season hence it is very affordable and available. A nylon of crayfish is sold from 14,000 and N16,000 respectively. But dry pepper, a bag is sold from N35,000 upwards while the bag of Cameroon pepper is sold from N25,000 upwards.”
As the prices of some goods increased by over five percent in previous weeks, the cost price of palm oil and groundnut-oil was affected a bit. A seller at the market gave a hint on the factors that led to the sudden rise and fall of the prices.
“The cost of purchase of palm-oil is not influenced by the border closure or the coronavirus pandemic rather the economy which has resulted in the high cost of production; when palm kernel is expensive, palm-oil becomes expensive and when it is affordable, palm-oil becomes affordable too.
“Before the pandemic, 25-litre of palm-oil cost N10,000 and N11,000 while groundnut-oil cost N12,000 and N12,500 but now, 25-litre of palm-oil is sold from N11,500 and some sell quality ones from N12,000. They have different types of branded groundnut-oil; they have the Cotonou own and the ones from other neighbouring countries; the interesting thing is that they are very affordable while the branded ones here are very expensive. 25-litre of groundnut-oil that is branded is from other neighbouring cost N13,000 while others are sold from N14,000 upwards and some traders sell theirs from N16,000 upwards for branded ones that are manufactured in Nigeria,” The young trader who hails from the northern region told Legit.ng.
A yam seller at the market gave a different perception of the price difference, according to him; the pandemic did not influence the cost price of some goods in the market, rather seasonal factors and the economy as well as supply.
He disclosed to our correspondent: “The price difference is very clear. The lockdown led to increment in the cost price of most goods in the market but when it was relaxed, it dawn on some traders that it is no longer business as usual; you either reduce the cost price of goods and make good sales or increase it and not make sales at all.
“Seasonal factor influence the cost of purchase of most goods in the country, yam is not an exception as the season determines the increment and reduction in the cost price. Before the pandemic, a small tuber of yam is sold from N300 upwards but now, a tuber of yam is sold from N500 and N600 upwards, so the difference is really huge. A tuber of big-sized yam cost N800 and below before the pandemic and now, it is sold from N1,000 upwards and some sell theirs from N1,200.”
Similarly, perishable goods in the country are not influenced by the pandemic alone, the seasonal factors as well as the weather condition determines the cost price.
A perishable goods dealer at the market disclosed to Legit.ng how and when the prices of the goods rises and falls.
“There are two seasons for tomato and these seasons influence the cost price of perishable goods, in fact these two seasons are between the first and second quarter of the year. During the planting season, perishable goods would be scarce but during harvest season it will be available and the cost price given would be at a reasonable rate.
“Now, some farmers are harvesting while some are planting. This is the season for the harvest of tubers, cassava and maize as other goods would be expensive because it is not their season. Before the pandemic, the cost price of tomato fluctuates and now, the cost of purchase is higher.
“In previous weeks, a basket of round shaped fresh tomatoes is sold from N8,000 upwards while the smashed ones are sold from N7,000 below. The small basket cost N3,000 and some N2,500. But now, a basket of fresh round shaped tomatoes are sold from N12,000 and N15,000 upwards depending on the size of the basket same with a bag of pepper. The small basket now are sold from N4,000 upwards but the watery tomatoes are sold from N6,000 upwards. There is no fixed price for perishable goods; they fluctuate often. Also, the cost price and purchase of onion is influenced by its season as well; sometimes it will be affordable and sometimes it will be expensive. Before the pandemic, it was a bit expensive and now it is very affordable as you can get onion for as low as N50 in the market, same with watery tomatoes,” A tomato seller opined.
There is indeed rise in the financial burden on many ensuing from the lockdown, while the coronavirus pandemic continue to affect the people irrespective of one’s wealth or social status, the average man on the street is mostly affected daily due to the grappling economy. It is therefore imperative for us to adjust our lifestyle and wake up to the new reality of life following another phase of lockdown relaxation, even as government continues to put certain measures in place to cushion the aftermath of the pandemic.
Covid-19: What are the most sought after items in the market? via Legit TV