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Abuja traders decry rising food prices, seek government’s intervention

Mr Musa stressed the need for the authorities to do the needful before things get out of control.

• June 12, 2024

Some residents and foodstuff traders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have decried the instability in produce prices as well as the worsening inflation in the country.

The residents and traders voiced their complaints in separate interviews with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.

Nduka Ndubisi, a food stuff trader at Aco AMAC Market, said that the unpredictability of food prices had limited the trade, as they could no longer take large stock.

Mr Ndubisi said, “The prices of most food items are currently unstable; we cannot even predict the prices anymore. This is tiring and frustrating.’’

A resident of Aco AMAC estate, Victor Azikiwe, said that the rising cost of food items in the market was because of the hike in the price of petrol.

Mr Azikiwe expressed concern that some sell a litre of petrol at N650 while others at N690, thereby affecting the cost of transportation of the goods.

“This contributed to the rise in food prices as the cost of transportation of foodstuffs across the country increased. For instance, Abuja to Ilorin is N18,000 as compared to N7,500 before now,” he said.

Another resident, Sherifat Musa, said that her major concern was on how people, especially the Muslims, would cope with the situation during Eid-El-Kabir celebration.

Mr Musa stressed the need for the authorities to do the needful before things get out of control.

“Our annual celebration is here. How do we buy all we need?

“I am scared of going to the Market because I don’t know what I’ll meet there. It’s scary because the hike in price keeps getting worse,” she said.

On her part, Hajiya Amoke Omole, a tomato and pepper trader at Gosa market, said that the, “ups and downs’’ in the price of produce had made most traders wary of the trade.

“We do not even understand the situation; the price of foodstuffs has been fluctuating for a while now.

“The price of tomatoes is also fluctuating; last week, we bought a basket-full for as high as N100,000; this week, it is N130,000 per basket which means the price is high and unpredictable.

“Sometimes, when pepper becomes affordable, tomatoes become more expensive, but now everything is on the high side. In fact, pepper is now more expensive than tomatoes,” she said.

A civil servant, Ibrahim Sule, described food as one of the most important basic needs for survival.

Sule said that its availability and accessibility were very important to any nation because its unavailability could lead to civil unrest, untimely death, malnourishment and more.

“Unfortunately, the price of food items in the markets has increased exponentially, daily.

“Nigerians have to spend more money these days before they can afford enough food for themselves and their families and this alone contributed enormously to the increase in food inflation.

“The current situation is beyond explanation. I think we need to pray and seek the face of God for his divine intervention,”he said.

Oluwaseun Soleye, a student in University of Abuja, said that only God could help in the situation affecting Nigerians and Nigeria as a whole.

Soleye opined that the country was suffering from a form of sin and God needed to forgive, “so we could overcome the issues bedevilling the country”.

“We have to turn to God and seek his forgiveness, because what is happening goes beyond human explanation. Imagine noodles (Super pack) of N80 before, is now N400 per one.

“To many of us, life has never been so difficult than what we are going through. Many households cannot afford three meals in a day,” she said.

Juliana Arome, a food seller, lamented low patronage by customers as a result of the hike in price of commodities and the low purchasing power of citizens.

Arome revealed that she had reduced the quantity of food she sells to her customers as “everything has gone high”.

She, however, called on the government to salvage the people adding that there was need for stability in food supply.

“Imagine, maggi moved from N700 to N1,300 per pack and Spaghetti is N850. We are not making any gain, government please help us, this is too much for us,”she said.

A trader, Bose Oluwole, who sells groceries and provisions at Wuse market, believed that President Tinubu could address the situation and provide solutions to the disturbing concern.

Ms Oluwole said, “before, we used to buy a bag of milk for 5,500, now it is N15,000.

“The loaf of bread that I used to buy from bakers at N600, now sells for N1600 to N2000 because of the high cost of the flour, milk and sugar.

“As traders, we are tired; we just sit under the sun getting nothing and we pay for shop and shade in the market,” she lamented.


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