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Hardship: We can’t feed anymore, Nigerians groan

By Francis Akinnodi

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The high cost of staple foods, occasioned by rising inflation, has made it difficult for many Nigerians to purchase essential items to feed on.

The Hope reports that recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the inflation rate is at 33.2 percent, underscoring the cost pressures which have pushed the prices of food higher, limiting purchasing power.

In Ondo State, residents have continued to lament their sufferings caused by the rising cost of staple foods.

A resident in Akure, Maria Afolayan, said the situation had become unbearable due to her family’s inability to feed properly.

“We can’t afford even pepper anymore. We can’t touch tomatoes too. We cannot buy fish or meat anymore.

“This situation is quite horrible, to say the least. I would appreciate it if the government reverted to the old fuel price so that the cost of living can be affordable.

Our correspondent who went to Akure town reports that a cup of corn now sells for between N200 and N250, depending on the sizes, while five tomatoes go for N500.

Also, a rubber of rice that once sold for around N1,800 is now N2,200 to N3,000, depending on the quality. Bread is now N1,800 for a family loaf, as against N500-N600, and a N50 biscuit is now N100 with reduced quantity. A rubber of garri currently sells between N1600 and N1800, as against its former price of between N400 and N600 this time last year.

Other food items including sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, and yam, among others, have become unaffordable, according to some residents who spoke about their plights.

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A resident, Dayo Ojo, said his family can no longer afford bread and tea for breakfast because of the high cost.

He said, “The bread I usually buy for my family at the cost of N500 before the fuel subsidy removal is now N1200 or N1,800, depending on where it is bought.

Another resident, Sarah Adenegan, simply described the suffering of many families like hers as “going through hell.”

“The truth is that we can’t feed ourselves anymore. We’re deeply pained by the high cost of staple foods for the common man.

“A set of tubers of yam that is usually sold for N5,000 or less is now between N10,000 and N15,000 in some areas.”

Also, a customer, Mary Adetoye, said that food was becoming out of reach for the poor.

Adetoye appealed to the government to urgently intervene in the skyrocketing prices of food items in the country.

A rice seller, Mrs. Munirudeen Adeniyi, said that the closure of some land borders was responsible for the hike in the prices of food items.

Adeniyi said that the reopening of the borders would lead to a reduction in prices of food items in the country.

He said, due to inflation, he sells a bag of 50kg of rice for N75,000, which, according to him, is on the high side.

Speaking with The Hope, a yam trader, Dele Mojisola, attributed the increase in the price of yam to the high cost of transportation.

She said the high cost of petrol and diesel has had a significant impact on the cost of transporting food items, which is reflected in the final selling price of tubers like yam and potatoes.

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“When we consider the high cost of transporting yam from the yam market to where we sell them, we are left with no option than to increase the price. It’s annoying, but what can we do? The government needs to bring down fuel prices.”

A retailer, Janet Uche, said she’s witnessing a decline in customers’ patronage as they struggle to cope with the escalating prices of goods.

“This is affecting my sales and profit seriously, and I fear that if this persists, I may be forced to stop my business because, as things stand, I am barely managing to cope and stay in business.”

Tomato merchant, Malam Gambo Muhammad, said tomato supply from Kano State ceased very early due to Tuta Absoluta pest attack, so merchants brought in tomatoes from other places. Due to high demand for the commodity, the business became saturated with buyers, while the supply was very minimal, leading to the price going high.

“As you can see, many of us do not have the capital to buy the commodity anymore because the price has gone up beyond our reach. I have never experienced a situation like this in my 28 years in the business; this is alarming. There is a need for authorities to do something.”

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Hardship: We can’t feed anymore, Nigerians groan

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