Food prices drop amid inflation scare
After the intense year-end/yuletide shopping activities, which expectedly made the prices of goods and services hit the roof, normalcy has since returned to the regular markets with the plummeting prices in some food stuff such as tomatoes, pepper, rice, beans, yam, locally-made palm-oil, among others.
According to The Guardian survey conducted at the weekend at various markets in Lagos State, while the prices of tomatoes and pepper crashed significantly, prices of local rice, yam and other items witnessed a slight drop. For instance, a big basket of round shaped tomatoes currently sells for an average of N5,000 compared to N8,000 recorded in December, which represents a 37.5 per cent decrease.
Also, the price of a bag of pepper dropped again to N8,000 from N10,000 indicating a 20 per cent decrease. Similarly, the price of locally-made rice continues to ease off as it sells for an average of N19,750 from an initial average of N21,000 in December. Meanwhile, the price of imported rice rose slightly.
A small sized tuber of yam also sells for an average of N500, from an initial average of N650. A 50kg bag of white Garri now sells for an average of N6,125 from N6,250 recorded two weeks ago.
A crate of eggs that was initially sold for an average of N1,250 now sells for an average of N975.
These figures were not expected considering figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) that measures inflation, which showed an increase by 0.61 points from 11.37 per cent in January 2019 to 11.98 per cent in December 2019, despite failed attempts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to bring inflation down to a single-digit rate.
However, some traders believe there has been no much difference in the market environment as fluctuation of food prices persists. They said the price fluctuation is due to the end of festivities where uncontrolled spending was at its peak.
“The festivity is over and everyone is back to reality but we are still presented with the high cost of goods in the market and poor market condition due to border closure. The economy is very weak, the roads are bad, the market environment is dull and we are faced with impoverished people in the land.
“The government needs to step up their game this year. People are suffering. There is hunger in the land. We are aware of their efforts so far but it just not adding up with reality. Right now, we are selling below our daily target so we would not run at a loss.
This explains for the marginal reduction in the prices of goods,” a wholesale dealer at Daleko market, Isolo, Mr. Kunle Elijah, said.
Another dealer at the popular rice market, Miss Oluwakemi, said the hike of prices last year was highly dependent on the type of rice. “Rice with stones last year was sold for N18,000 to N19,000 but the stone-free rice were sold for about N20,000 to N21,000, while the foreign rice went for N24,000 to N25,000.
Mr. Nurudeen Yekini said the reduction of the prices of rice is due to the number of people going into the rice business since border closure was enforced.
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