- Traders in Lagos market are confused as the cost price of goods rises and at some point, it fluctuates but never drops to a reasonable level
- Checks by Legit.ng at a popular market in Lagos this week, showed the cost price of foreign rice dropped by N1,000 and local rice maintained a stable price
- A trader in a chat with Legit.ng disclosed that the present cost price of rice is influenced by the foreign exchange rate and the grappling economy
One of the highest policy thrusts of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration is the push for the development of the agricultural sector, with its focus on growing Nigeria's local rice production.
In fact, the government introduced several policies and incentives that it hoped will increase rice sufficiency and in turn reduce the cost price in Nigeria. Interestingly, the reverse has been the case as the policies affect the cost price of goods in the Nigerian market, negatively.
Bag of rice costs N36,000 in the previous month
This week at the market, the cost price of rice maintained stability and the cost of other goods fluctuated.
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Meanwhile, the export of rice is subsidised in other countries such as Vietnam, India and Thailand but in Nigeria, the interest rates is higher than in most parts of the world; a major factor that influences the cost price of rice in recent times.
In the previous months, the cost price of rice skyrocketed and traders blame it on the economy and border closure.
A bag of rice in the month of August sells from N36,000 upwards and the small grain from N32,000 upwards as the cost price of beans maintains stability, however, the traders are not happy with the recent development.
Bag of foreign rice long grain cost N35,000
This month, a trader in a chat with Legit.ng disclosed there was a drop in the cost price of rice yet, it was not an encouraging reduction as buyers are still unhappy over the present market reality.
"Even the traders in the market are surprised at the happenings in the market in recent times. it is not easy on our part because getting the goods from our major distributors in other state is not an easy task but we are still here.
"It is a serious matter when it comes to dealing with the rising price of goods especially with the grappling economy. But when dollar and other hard currencies rise, it affects imported goods. So, the foreign exchange rate also determine to an extent the cost price of goods in Nigeria.
"When goods rise in Lagos market, it becomes very difficult for it to fall back and this is a norm that bothers the traders because not only does it affect the purchasing power of buyers it also affects our profit margin as we tend to make purchases that were not planned for, so as to keep our business intact.
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"There has been an increment in the cost price of rice and this has affected the business on the long run because the demand for rice is higher compared to other goods. And it has maintained a steady rise and has not dropped in recent weeks. It rose from N28,000, N29,000 to N36,000.
"Interestingly, this period, we saw a little drop in the cost price of rice, just a N1,000 difference. A bag of foreign rice now sells for N35,000, long grain as against its old price of N36,000. A bag of foreign rice, small grain cost N31,000. It's something though for us traders but it's still not encouraging because buyers are still not pleased with the shard drop.
A bag of olotu beans now costs N60,000, oloyin beans, N40,000
"This period, you get to see dry beans in the market because it is giving way for new ones to come in.
"The beans in the market now is a bit expensive because the old one is phasing out and the new one would flood the market from the month of November. But beans is actually very expensive.
"A bag of olotu beans that you get from N40,000, N45,000 and N50,000 upwards now sells from N60,000 per bag while a bag of oloyin beans sells from N40,000 as against its old price of N35,000 and below."
Nigerians shun local rice
Meanwhile, despite the hike in the cost price of foreign rice, Nigerians still prefer it to local rice.
The trader shed more light on this assertion.
He affirmed thus:
"One major issue we face is the issue of local rice. Now a lot of things influence the cost price of local rice; from the planting to the processing as well as the processing equipment not leaving out the major issues with farming in the areas where they are produced.
"Rice farmers presently are not finding it easy due to the floods and other factors that are defining the production of local rice before and now.
"This however makes local rice expensive and difficult to purchase as traders and harder to sell to buyers who prefer the foreign rice that the long grain cost N35,000 now and the small grain cost N31,000.
"This really affects our business hence traders stock their shops with more of foreign rice to local rice as buyers sometimes don't even ask about the local rice, only a few, purchase it in the market.
"So, in other to play safe, we purchase a bit of local rice that is also expensive and more of foreign rice that is very high. This way, we can better our lot in business and cope well, with the Nigerian weather."
Cost price of garri in the market, quite encouraging
Interestingly, garri is still a bit affordable in the market compared to other goods.
The trader disclosed that the cost price of garri is stable and it is only influenced by the size of the bag.
"A bag of garri (yellow and white), sells from N13,000, N15,000 and N20,000 upwards; all depending on the number of paints bucket found in the bag, this applies to the cost price of beans as well. Garri is not really expensive compare to beans, rice, ogbono and egusi."
Patronage is low, business dull, the trader lamented
"We are not happy with the current market reality. The business environment is not conducive for us anymore but we are appealing to the government to help us because business is very dull and sales not encouraging.
“The economy, the ban on importation of rice, insecurity and inadequate supply is biting hard, even buyers are feeling the pain too.
“The road is not free again because of border closure and I am sure the government did it for the good of all, yet the farmers are lamenting daily because we do not have the wherewithal to develop our own rice production capacity. Nothing seems to be working anymore.
“It is pathetic, may God help us in the coming years.”
Nigerians in their usual way reacted to the development on the Facebook page of Legit.ng.
David Okunlola queried:
"Who among the contestant is not part of the problems? Who is a saint or Messaiah among them?
Ijeoma Onyekwelu Okechukwu lamented:
"Beans dt was one of d cheapest food then is now d most costlier. God help us oooo in this kwontry."
Ibrahim Ibn Isah urged:
"Vote APC for continuity."
Uzokwe Nneka Ndukwe wrote:
"And some people still want to vote APC.
"Suffer no dey tire them."
Abdulhamid Chubado said:
"In my state Paddy bag is being sold at 17,500 as of today."
Probity Okike noted:
"But the Yorubas are buying it for 15k that is why they want to vote for baba agbado."
Chidi Micheal maintained:
"Mehn..anybody that survives this APC administration needs certificate of survival.cuz is not easy..."
Tomi Dosumu stated:
"How can a sane person continue to support his tormentors (apc) in the midst of hardship."
Legit.ng weekly price check: Rice sellers groan as a bag sells for N32,000 in popular Lagos market
Whilst the politicians are busy with the forthcoming general election in 2023, traders and buyers are worried over the current market condition.
This week's food prices have increased by over five percent at the market as some are not even available.
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With the present market condition, nothing seems to have changed in the country as food prices continue to soar.
Saddened by this development, the traders in the market are seeking the true one who would turn around the nation’s economy from the further collapse in the forthcoming general elections.
At the market this week, some seasonal goods are expensive and others fluctuating, according to checks by Legit.ng, the price variation is informed by the exchange rate, the security situation of the country and the grappling economy.