6 Formerly Cheap Food Items No Longer Affordable for Average Nigerians

6 Formerly Cheap Food Items No Longer Affordable for Average Nigerians

  • The rising food inflation in Nigeria has forced the prices of some basic food items to become unaffordable for many citizens
  • Essential foods like garri, rice, and others have become so expensive that many would spend most of their income on food
  • Consequently, many households across the country are finding it very hard to meet their daily dietary needs

Legit.ng journalist Victor Enengedi has over a decade of experience covering Energy, MSMEs, Technology and the stock market.

Over the past few years, there has been a notable surge in the prices of vital essential foods in Nigeria.

This phenomenon took on added complexity following President Bola Tinubu's declaration of ending fuel subsidy payments during his inauguration on May 29, 2023.

Rising food prices in Nigeria affecting avearage Nigerians
According to a market survey undertaken by Legit.ng, food product prices have doubled in recent months. Photo credit - SME Guide, StateHouse, Dataphyte
Source: UGC

The continuous rise in the costs of these staple foods, alongside other commodities, has reduced the buying capacity of Nigerians, as many find it challenging to meet their daily dietary needs.

Read also

Another state to share free food, other palliatives amid hardship, promises N50k for each student

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the food inflation rate in January 2024 jumped to 35.41% from 33.93% in December 2023.

According to a market survey undertaken by Legit.ng, food product prices have doubled in recent months. Here are several staples that have experienced price increases over time.

Bread is no longer cheap

Once regarded as one of the most affordable staples accessible to individuals across all socioeconomic classes, bread—a dietary mainstay crafted from a blend of wheat flour and water, then baked—has now become beyond the means of the average wage earner in the nation.

Bakers throughout Nigeria have voiced their grievances, citing a surge in the costs of baking essentials over the past year, leading to the closure of many establishments and instability for those that remain operational.

Read also

N10k for 25kg bag: Nigeria Customs begins sale of cheap rice, other food items, shares location

Moreover, the foreign exchange crisis has exacerbated the situation, causing steep hikes in the prices of materials like flour and sugar.

Previously, a bag of flour priced at N37,000 a month ago now commands N42,000, while sugar, previously sold for N62,000, has skyrocketed to N72,000.

Consequently, a loaf of bread previously priced at N200 now demands N500, and a family-sized sliced loaf, once available for N800, now commands N1,200.

Garri is no more poor man's food

Garri, a staple food deeply ingrained in Nigerian culture and widely consumed, is gradually becoming unaffordable for the masses due to its escalating prices.

What was once a readily accessible food, even for low-income earners, has now become a luxury item.

In markets across major cities, the price of a mudu of white garri, previously priced at N600, now ranges between N1,000 and N1,200, while a mudu of yellow garri, previously sold for N500, now commands prices between N900 and N1,000.

Read also

Jumia's sales dented by currency depreciation, inflation in Nigeria, other countries

Price of beans continues to surge

Beans rank among Africa's most widely consumed and essential foods, particularly in Nigeria, standing as the fourth most-consumed item after cassava, yam, and rice.

Its consumption is strongly advocated due to its myriad health benefits and nutritional value, serving as a primary source of protein compared to other protein-rich foods in Nigeria.

However, the prices of beans have surged in recent times. Presently, in numerous markets throughout Nigeria, a half-paint of beans, previously priced at N1,250, now commands N2,000.

Bag of rice no longer affordable

Rice holds a prominent status as one of Nigeria's most widely consumed staples and essential cereals, boasting a per capita consumption rate of 32kg.

In recent years, rice prices have experienced a notable increase. According to the National Bureau of Statistics report titled "Selected Food Prices Watch for December 2023," released in January, the average price of 1kg of locally sold loose rice stood at N917.93.

Read also

5 agricultural businesses to invest in to increase your income in 2024

A 50kg bag of Nigerian rice now commands prices ranging between N50,000 and N60,000, a significant rise from the N45,000 it fetched in December 2023.

Similarly, foreign rice is now sold for prices ranging between N70,000 and N80,000, compared to the previous price of N65,000.

Surge in prices of noodles

The cost of a 70g carton of Nigeria's well-known instant noodle brand, Indomie, has experienced a significant increase, rising from N6,000 to a range of N10,000 to N13,500, contingent upon the purchasing location.

Similarly, the price of a 120g super pack has escalated from N11,140 to a range of N17,500 to N18,000 per carton.

Upon closer examination, it was found that the individual price of a single pack of Indomie (Super pack) has risen from N350 to N500 in the span of two weeks, whereas an alternative noodle brand is being sold for N450.

Read also

Trouble as another Nigerian company suspends buying maize, sorghum over alarming food price increases

This surge implies that an individual earning the minimum wage of N30,000 in Nigeria would need to allocate N18,500 to purchase a carton of noodles.

Eggs are not as basic as before

The consistent rise in prices has transformed what was once one of the nation's most economical protein sources into a luxury commodity.

As of late, egg prices have persistently surged, placing them beyond the means of an average Nigerian household.

Poultry farmers, livestock feed processors, and marketers have attributed the spike in poultry product prices, particularly eggs, to the escalating costs of key ingredients for poultry feeds.

Previously, a crate of eggs sold for N3000, but now it fetches prices ranging between N3,800 and N4,000, varying according to size.

Food inflation as a threat to economic stability

Reacting to rising food prices, Bola Onaloja, an agricultural economist, told Legit.ng that the trend severely threatens economic stability and social welfare.

Read also

FG moves to set prices of rice, yam, garri, other items as food crisis worsens

She said:

As essential commodities become increasingly unaffordable, vulnerable populations endure heightened hardship, exacerbating poverty and malnutrition. The root causes, including inflation, supply chain disruptions, and climatic challenges, demand urgent governmental intervention.
Sustainable solutions must prioritize agricultural development, infrastructural enhancements, and equitable distribution channels to mitigate the crisis's impact on the populace.

She added that collaborative efforts from both public and private sectors are essential to ensure food security and alleviate the burden on Nigerian families, fostering a more resilient and prosperous future.

Rising food prices to continue through 2024

In related news, Legit.ng reported that the persistence of escalating food prices, as observed in past months, is expected to continue through the year.

This trend is expected to contribute to ongoing food security challenges, thereby impeding the African continent's ability to attain the goal of zero hunger by 2030.

This forecast is drawn from the 2023 Crop Production Report recently published by AFEX, a prominent commodities player in Africa.

Read also

"Nigerians no longer able to buy beer": NB CEO speaks after release of new price list for drinks

The report underscores the substantial hurdles posed by food insecurity and inflation, particularly in Nigeria.

Source: Legit.ng

Online view pixel