This is the bleakest Christmas ever – FCT residents (Peoplespeak)
This is the bleakest Christmas ever – FCT residents
Ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations, prices of goods and services in FCT have risen to new heights, testimonies to the harsh economic realities the country currently grapples with. While the yuletide is usually associated with high demand for goods and services, which results in marginal increase in prices of commodities, what is disturbing about this year’s development is however the lack of money in circulation. Our correspondent, Chux Nzeh, who went round the major markets in Abuja to access the situation, spoke with some residents, who affirmed the weakening purchasing power of the average consumer.
QUEEN SILVIA CHIDALU
Here in Garki the price of foodstuffs has gone up. The hard time being experienced by Nigerians is making things worse. Last year, a bag of rice I bought was sold at N9, 500. Today it is being sold for N11,500. That is even fair enough.
A basket of onions that was sold for N800 is now sold for N2, 500, representing over one hundred per cent increase.
These are crops we grow locally. Does it mean that within this short time, the celebrated success achieved in the agricultural sector by the last regime cannot be sustained?
Government should encourage more farmers in Nigeria so that we can have agricultural produce for local consumption and for export.
Food items at Gosa market have increased. A bag of rice which sold at N10, 000 two months ago, is now sells for N12,500.
One kilo of turkey sold for N900 is now N1,200. The change in prices of chicken is however better as a kilo was sold at N850, but now sells for N900.
Some of us who cannot buy in bulk usually buy in mudus. We bear the cost of the whole product. I buy rice and garri in mudu for my Family. A mudu of garri goes for N150. Before now I use to buy at N120.
People are rushing to buy what they need for the forthcoming Christmas. Look at onions that the price was falling, it suddenly went up again. Imagine, a basket of onion was sold for N1500 but is now sold for N2,200.
Our president should do something to make sure that the price of food reduces. If I had my own land here, I would have planted what we will eat.
Things are expensive because of the yuletide. A bag of cap rice which was sold for N9,500 is now sold for N11,000, a mudu of crayfish is sold for N1,500, instead of the N 1,200 it was sold some months ago.
A bottle of groundnut now sells at N350 instead of N250, just as red beans and honey beans have become very expensive; a mudu of honey beans goes for as much as N400, while the white beans is sold for N200.
Some Hausa traders say some trucks bringing in their goods had accident on the way and that is why onions and tomatoes are expensive. A big basket of tomatoes now sells for N7,500:00.
The rise in food prices is a temporary thing. There are several factors that have influenced the rise, including the CBN dollar policies, the delay in appointment of ministers, desertification and insurgency in the north where most of our cash crops come from.
These amongst other factors contribute not only to the rising prices of food items, but also household commodities and most products in the market.
The minister of agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, should work out an achievable plan for young farmers to direct their energy to develop the sector and ensure for food security in Nigeria.
We are not surprised by the rise in food prices. It is always like that every Yuletide. Some traders see it as a time to rip off their customers to make quick gains.
However, this year, I think the prices rose because of the harsh economic realities we are facing as a country, but I know it will not last for long.