As Christmas approaches, Ibadan residents are lamenting hike in food prices.
In Bodija, Agbeni, and Oja-Oba markets, pepper and rice sellers on Monday decried the low patronage due to the high cost of commodities.
Many attributed rising commodities prices to the cost of transporting foodstuffs from the North, high inflation rate, and insecurity.
A pepper and onion seller, identified as Iya Ibeji, said most commodities go bad due to poor patronage.
“A basket of tomato now, the big round one, rose from between N14,000 and N15,000 to about N20,000. The small bucket which was sold for between N700 and N800 now costs N2,000; the small bucket of pepper rose from N700 to N1,200,” the trader disclosed.
“Medium-sized basket of onion, about 40 to 42 pieces in one basket, which cost N800 in the past, now sells for N1,600.”
Also speaking, Joy
Ayeni, who sells rice, vegetable oil and other condiments, said the number of buyers had reduced.
“A bag of rice, big grain, rose from N27,000 or N28,000 to N29,500 or N30,000, while the small grain that cost around N25,000 in the past now sells for N27,000 or N28,000,” explained Ms Ayeni. “This has affected sellers too because we don’t buy as much as we used to buy. Imagine a 25-litre container of Kings vegetable oil, previously sold for N26,000, now costs N27,000. We only pray to at least sell something if not all in a day.”
Also, Victoria Bello, who sells broilers, said they recorded low patronage due to the prevailing high cost of commodities. “A small broiler, sold for between N2,000 to N2,500, now costs N3,500, and the price will even rise further,” she said, lamenting that buyers now prefer frozen chicken because it’s a bit cheaper.
A buyer, identified as Iya Cynthia, said her purchasing power had weakened due to the inflated cost of food items.
“We are just managing things. The little we can get we buy because we can’t just fold our hands and be looking at the children during such a festive period,” said Iya Cynthia. “The same salary is what we are using for house rent, hospital/ electricity bills, and other expenditures, it’s really not easy, but we will celebrate anyhow and thank God for our lives at least.”
Another buyer John Bamgbose said he had no option but to reduce the number of things to buy.
“Before, my family used to buy turkey and broilers, but now we manage one broiler and look for ponmo (cow skin) to add up. The government should please help us to do something about this high cost of commodities because it’s really alarming,” stated Mr Bamgbose.
He added, “Even drinks are now very costly – a crate of mineral (35 CL) is N1,400, this used to be around N800/N900, while 70 CL is now N120 for a bottle, and these are the drinks one can use to celebrate during Christmas.”