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High food prices: Traders in Dei-Dei market plead with government

Jul, 2021 | By Manbyen Nantip | ||

Traders in Dei-Dei market, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have voiced their concerns over skyrocketing prices of items, urging government to wade into the matter. They lamented that not only is the high price regime stifling business growth, it is also scaring buyers from making purchases.

Speaking to Abuja Digest Weekly, one of the traders, Malam Abdulahi Lawal, who deals wholesale on palm oil, pleaded for help from government to do something about the high cost price of consumer goods. According to him, the situation has become so precarious for him since the jerk-up in prices that he hardly purchases up to 10 gallons of oil a week as against 30 gallons a week he often bought previously.

Notwithstanding this, Lawal appreciated government ''on their good work'' but urged them to do more to reduce what he described as rising hardship in the land. A tomato seller, Malam Yunusa Sani, for his part, said that the cost price of tomato in the market where he regularly buys from before retailing the vegetable, keeps jumping higher almost on daily basis.

Lamenting that he cannot even buy up to six baskets of tomatoes in a week presently due to its non-availability, Sani explained that in the past he had financial capacity to purchase more, but not anymore, even if the product is available. He called on government to intervene urgently and save their businesses from possible collapse.

Also speaking, a dealer in rice, beans, maize and millet, who wanted to be identified simply as Mrs. Dorothy, urged government to do something to curb the inflationary spiral. She pleaded with government ''to please open the border so that there will be enough to be sold at cheap and affordable prices to people.'' Inside the market, Abuja Digest Weekly found out that a 'mudu' (measure) of rice that was N450-N500 recently now goes for N950-N1000. A bottle of palm oil went for N350-N400 but is now sold for N600-N700.

Delving into the matter, a commercial motorcycle operator in the market, Malam Abubakar Musa, cried out to Abuja Digest Weekly to ''help talk to government on the current price of fuel in our society.'' He said patronage is presently low as customers resort to trekking manageable distances on the excuse that ''it is good to exercise their legs for longer life.'' Musa bemoaned the higher price of petrol needed to fuel their motorcycles for business, saying they now buy at N135 per litre as against N120 ''and if you necessarily pass on the cost to customers, they reject it flat, making us go home with lower income—and some of us must make daily returns to the motorcycle owners who don't want to hear any excuses over their money.''

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