Home » Subsidy removal: scarcity, high cost of foods hit Nigerian markets

Subsidy removal: scarcity, high cost of foods hit Nigerian markets

by Samson Echenim

The prevailing high cost of transportation in Nigeria owing to total removal of fuel subsidy has taken a toll on the cost of food stuff in the market.

The Economy on Saturday carried out a survey of markets in Lagos, Ogun and Rivers states and found out that food prices have hit the roof.

In Lagos, Port Harcourt and Mowe in Ogun State, food prices are rising. Food products affected most are beef, garri, foofoo, pepper and tomatoes.

At the Ketu Market in Lagos, Joy Amadi, a tomato and pepper seller said: “Prices of pepper and tomatoes have gone up, we can’t do but sell at a good price to make some profits.”

According to her, a basket of tomatoes was sold last week at N15,000 but the supply she received on Friday was sold to her at N30,000.

The price of meat at Ketu market in Lagos has also gone up astronomically. A butcher at the market, Saheed Alabi said there were no more supplies as before due to high cost of fuel.

Alabi said: “Herders who deliver meat (animals) to the market carry them in smaller trucks that use fuel. The trucks bringing them from the North is using diesel but the smaller vehicles bringing the animals to the market use fuel. The high cost of fuel has changed everything.”

Also in Mowe, people complained bitterly about high cost of pepper, tomatoes, beef, garri and foofoo.
A housewife in Mowe, Mrs Balikis Bode said she used to buy fruit tomatoes with N500 to make stew every Saturday but, today she could only get same quantity at N1,200. The increase in price of tomatoes is about 140%.

“I just couldn’t believe the ugly experience I had at the market today,” she told The Economy.

“Tomatoes, pepper, meat and garri are no longer affordable and all this changed today. Sellers are saying that the cost of transportation is responsible,” she said.

Also at the Mowe market, a woman who was buying foofoo was seen lamenting. She identified herself simply as Uche.

Uche owns a restaurant and had come to the market to buy a bag of foofoo, but she was shocked to discover that the price of the local Cassava paste had hit the roof.

“On Monday I bought this bag at N2000. That was 5 days ago. Now they are telling me it is N3300. The price increase is just too strange,” she said.

Also at the Rumokoro Market in Port Harcourt, The Economy got same tale of skyrocketed food prices. Mr King Ibeji, a garri dealer told The Economy that the cost of bringing food to the market has gone too high.

“We go to markets in Delta and Edo states to buy garri. The transport cost now has trippled and we have to put the cost of transport on the product that took us to those markets. Even at the price we are selling now, it is hard to make profit,” Ibeji lamented.

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