By Mike Adeyemi
Barely two days to Christmas celebration and 10 days to the new year festivities, residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, are finding it difficult to meet their needs as prices of major staple food items have surged higher across major markets in the metropolis.
Our reporter who visited notable markets shows the prices of food items and the possible cause for the incessant increase.
The market survey revealed that the prices of Rice, Beans, Yam, and Tomato recorded a significant hike in December, compared to previous months.
A yam seller, Sidikat Yusuf while lamenting charges government to resolve the issues responsible for the high cost of yam in the state.
”I bought one hundred yam last November for N50,000 but to my surprise this month the price has increased to N70,000″, she said.
At Mandate market, Beans and Rice retailer, Azeez Ali said the price of Nigeria rice last month was N22,500 but had increased to 23,600 Naira per bag.
Ali added that the price of white beans had increased from N42, 000 to N46,000 Naira per bag while brown beans last month was sold to them for an average of N97,500 till this month.
A tomato seller, at Yoruba Road market, Halimat Garuba said a big basket of round-shaped tomatoes recorded a marginal increase in price sold at an average of N9,500 last month but now selling for N15,000 this December.
Also, the price of a medium-sized basket of pepper also increased by 11.1%, it was sold for an average of N5,000 in November but has increased to N8,500.
According to Kudiarat Jimoh, a “carton of Titus fish in November was sold for N36,000 but has increased to N38,000.
A palm oil trader, Bosede Ogundipe explained that the prices of palm oil continued to increase daily, saying that the unit price of 10kg of oil last month was N7,000 but had increased to N8,500.
Ogundipe explained that the prices of food items had discouraged Kwarans from eating as healthy as they would want to, citing incessant increase in the prices of cooking gas, Egg, Groundnut oil, local and foreign rice, amongst others.
Speaking with our reporter, a buyer, Kehinde Olorunoje observed that although the prices of items have always been on the increase but the complaint is much this year because of the poor state of the economy, which makes it tougher for people.
“I came to the market with the little we can muster unfortunately, I couldn’t get half of what I listed to buy.
“If you could notice, people are not coming to the market unlike some years back, when it is December, you would see the difference in the market.
“I bought a rubber of foreign rice for N1300, instead of N1000, white bean N900 and so on, I only pray things get back to normal for the masses to live well and not in hardships.” She prayed..
Another buyer, Jumoke Agboola said, “it is obvious that things are costly but that is not the main problem. The problem is money, people are not living fine financially, It is when you have money that you will visit market.
“As you can see for yourself, we have low turnout of consumers, most of the customers wish to buy but they have no money. There is no money to purchase their needs.”
She however expressed sadness over the astronomical prices of foodstuffs, especially at this time of the year, saying people like her may have to celebrate the festive period with nothing.