Mixed Reactions To Food Prices As Xmas Approaches

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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.

Customers at the Utako market, Abuja yesterday.

“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.