Price of foodstuff in Imo, Jigawa: The current hardship sweeping across Imo State, hit a feverish pitch, weekend, as the prices of some major staple foods have gone out of the reach of many families. Vanguard’s check at markets in Owerri revealed that most food items had gone up by 100 to 150 percent in the state.
A bag of rice now goes for between N23,000 and N25,000, as against N8,000 in 2014. Similarly, 30-litre container of palm oil that was sold for N5,000, now goes for N12,500, while a measure of beans now sells for N1,500 as against N500. A tiny ball of onion sells for between N10 and N20, depending on the bargaining power of the buyer, as a small paint bucket of garri, which was sold for N300 now goes for between N700 and N850.
The development has compelled many people especially those living in rural areas to revert to local foods such as moringa, cassava and their related leaves combined with groundnut cake popularly known as kulikuli. Even garri has been priced beyond the reach of many people. A small measure of rice is now N1,100 as against N500 while local rice goes for N800-N900 as against N350-N400 in the past. A mudu of beans is N800 as against N400, while a pack of Maggi star is N360 as against N250. A carton of Indomie noodles sold for N1,800 now costs N2,500. A kilo of meat which sold at N800 now costs N1,200 and a kilo of fish is now N800 as against N600; kilo of chicken now costs N1,000 as against N600. A sachet of powder peak milk sold at N35 is now N50; a mudu of sugar is now N1,100 as against N600, flour cost N580 as against N350. Big pack of stick matches now costs N50 as against N25. Asked how he is coping, Malam Abdulkahar Mohammed, said he and his family now eats twice a day. “Life isn’t easy with the increase in everything and money is hard to get. It is not easy to get job and even those with jobs, their salaries are not enough for them to cater for their daily needs. The circumstance had compelled many of us to withdraw our children from private schools back to government schools as an alternative for them to pursue their education,” he said. Malam Aliyu Dangida, one of the parents who have withdrawn their children from private schools and enrolled them in government schools, said: “I have six children in private schools, but with the increase in their fees by over 100 per cent, I can’t afford to continue paying their fees. So, I have transferred them to government schools.”
Families cry out in Abia
Residents of Aba, Abia State have cried out over the soaring prices of foodstuffs in the market, and urged the government to introduce policies to check the trend. Vanguard investigations revealed that some families have devised stringent measures to tackle the prevailing situation. Such measures include ‘skipping meals’ and avoiding those they classify as luxury. Some are used to taking breakfast and skipping lunch to have dinner while others take light meals to save cost. It was also discovered that some men have set up small scale businesses for their wives to generate more income for the family. A visit to major markets in the city revealed that price of foodstuffs has sky-rocketed beyond the reach of consumers. Worst hit are the prices of staple foods like rice, beans and yam. A bag of rice sells for N21, 000 from N11, 000 while a cup of foreign rice goes for N120. It was also discovered that a bag of local rice sells for N10, 000 while a cup goes for N80.A tuber of yam sells for N700 from N400, while a bottle of Kings cooking oil has gone up from N250 to N450. A cup of beans which was sold for N60 now goes for N90, same for carton of tomatoes which now sells for N1, 500 from N1, 200. A bowl of garri consisting of 16 cups has gone up to N600 from N400.
On the other hand, a family size loaf of bread sells for N600 from N400 while a basket of tomato fluctuates between N12, 000 and N18, 000 depending on availability. A bag of pepper, which formerly went for N12, 000 has gone down to N4, 000. A bottle of palm oil is now N400 from N200. A carton of ice fish has shot up to N13, 500 from N9, 000 while a bowl of crayfish sells for N1,500 from N1,200. A housewife, Nnenna Nwabeke, said: “Prices of everything has shot up in the market. I used to make a pot of soup with N3, 000, but today it is no longer possible. You will spend N400 to buy only vegetable. Even the normal ice fish, which my family prefers for rice and stew now sells for N1, 500 from N500 each. The woman, who I buy fish from told me that the price of a carton of ice fish now sells for N13, 500 from N9, 000. The worst thing is that any foodstuff you buy for N100 today will soar to N200 before two days. It is a terrible situation. People are dying of hunger. The government should do something to assist the citizenry.”
Recession in Bayelsa: In Bayelsa, residents have devised copy mechanisms to survive the recession as prices of food stuffs such as garri, rice, beans, and yam and bread among others soar by over 100 per cent. A bag of rice previously sold between N11, 000 to N14, 000 is now sold at N22, 000 to N24, 000. A bowl of garri formerly at N300 is now N500. A bread of N250 is now N400. A tuber of yam now goes between N500 to N1, 000 depending on size.
Lagos residents lose purchasing power Lagos residents are also groaning over the hike in prices of goods and services in the country. Some corporate organizations are laying-off staff,while many parents have withdrawn their children from private schools and enrolled them in public or less expensive schools.