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Nigerians groan under rising food prices


 Traders  at Egbeda Market

Traders at Egbeda Market

The times are dire and for the common man, its still a long way to go before the light beckons at the end of the tunnel. The situation, triggered by prevailing economic realities, especially the weakening value of the naira, has worsened with the prices of most staple food items hitting the roof and increasing by as much as 60 per cent.

This has left most Nigerians groaning under the weight of the present hardship, which some traders have attributed to the falling value of the naira against the dollar at the primary market.

When The Guardian visited Egbeda market in Alimosho area of Lagos on Saturday, a trader of frozen foods who identified herself as Mama Tunji, said: “We used to sell one big Titus fish for N300 but now we sell a medium size for N400. The people we buy from said the dollar has risen. A kilo of chicken was sold for N550 but now it is sold for N700. A kilo of turkey was sold for N700 but it is now sold for N850.

“You may say it is a difference of N100, but customers are complaining bitterly that the increase is affecting everything in the market, especially at this time when money is so scarce to see. So they are buying less because of the high cost.”

Another trader who identified herself as Ijeoma Okoh, said the hardship is biting harder by the day. “If I open my notebook for you to see the list of my customers who have bought foodstuffs on credit, you will think I run a micro-finance bank here. This Buhari’s administration should do something very fast about this suffering. Things have never been like this before,” she added.

Habeeb Halima said she came to the market with a long shopping list totaling N5,000 but she is so disappointed that she hasn’t gone halfway through the list yet the N5,000 has been exhausted.

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