As the year draws to an end, prices of commodities at Abuja markets have dropped significantly, which is rather different from the norm of prices going up during the festive season.
Although prices of some food items like palm and vegetable oil have gone up due to factors like transportation and storage issues, the prices are quite affordable for many Nigerians.
A buyer at Utako market, Mrs. Chioma said, “I will not lie to you, things are cheap, very fresh and it is much cheaper when compared to Lagos.”
Also, a tomato seller, Nuru the same market at Utako said price of vegetables changes a lot.
“Tomatoes is cheap, I was selling at N900 per basket, just last week, but now I sell it for N500 per basket,” he said.
Commodities like rice and vegetable oil have increased because of the cost of transportation and preservation, according to another seller, Mr. Obi adding that foreign rice is more expensive than local rice because of importation.
“I sell 50kg foreign rice for N20, 000 and local rice for N18, 500, people like foreign rice because it is imported but the truth is that it is basically the same with the local rice,” he said.
Similarly, Mrs. Toyin who owns a small canteen at Karmo recalled how the recent high price of oil has forced her to reduce the quantity of food she serves her customers, adding that she still retains them only because she does not compromise on the quality.
“I could recall in May we used to buy a bottle of palm oil at the rate of N200 but now we buy it at the rate of N750, and a bottle of vegetable oil at the rate of N200 but now we buy it at the rate of N550, so sometimes you go to the market and find out the money you are holding is not enough to buy much,” she lamented.
In another vein, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed, a grain seller also at Karmo market disclose that prices of grains has dropped compared to the recent past because new harvest has made way into the markets.
Also, a wholesaler of palm and vegetable oil, Mr. Obiora Obinna at Wuse market explained that price of cooking oil increased due to transportation and festive season, adding that people from states that do not produce oil in commercial quantity want to buy and travel home.
Speaking to a customer at Wuse market, Mrs. Ramatu Sabo revealed that she has to keep buying food to eat notwithstanding the price, however she showed optimism that the prices have started dropping significantly.
“We must still buy, expensive or not expensive only that we don’t buy as much as we used to due to the economic situation, but we thank God the prices of food items are gradually coming down,” she said.