Students Protest hike In Garri Price In Ilorin

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Some students in Ilorin have decried the sudden increase in price of garri, commonly referred to as “students’ food’.’

Some of the students expressed their concerns in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Saturday, in Ilorin.

The students said it had become almost impossible to have a day’s meal with the increase in the staple food.

A student of Kwara State Polytechnic, Dayo Abiodun, said that it was difficult to feed with the sudden increase in the price of Garri.

He said a bowl of garri which was sold at N150, now sold for N240 in the market, while a cup now sells at N30.

“In the past, you see your room mates sharing garri among themselves freely but since the end of last year, no student can afford to willingly give out a cup of the commodity.

“Garri is the most friendly and easily accessible food for us as students but now it has become scarce commodity in the hostel,’’ he said.

Another student, Suleman Sheriff, told NAN that garri used to be his fast food to quench hunger but the increase in its price had changed that.

Meanwhile, the Cassava Traders’ Association (CTA) in Niger has decried the continuous increase in price of cassava in Minna.

The association’s Secretary, Mr Emeka Animekwe, told the NAN in Minna that a pick-up load had increased from N100,000 in October 2016 to N130,000 in January 2017.

“In the past, a pick-up load was shared into 19 heaps for N 6,000 each, but now a pick up load is N130,000 and is shared into 25 places for N6,000 a heap.

“Garri was sold for N250 a measure before Christmas, but it is now N500 a measure now. Similarly, cassava floor is now N300 a measure.

“This situation is unbearable, we are suffering. We are not making any profit on this business any longer,” he said.

“The prices of cassava byproducts have quadrupled and this is dangerous for food security in the nation,’’ Animekwe said.

He calked on the state government to assist the traders with soft loans to farm in the 2017 planting season.

Amimekwe said that the cassava traders also wanted to farm cassava, adding that government should encourage them by giving them all the necessary support.

“With soft loans, we as cassava traders can go into farming. We will have enough to purchase fertilisers and do mechanised farming to have a bumper harvest,’’ Animekwe added. 

“I was surprised to see the price of garri going up uncontrollably. Students are not finding it funny at the moment because it is our favourite food.

“We are not even talking about rice, beans, yam, palm oil or groundnut oil, garri should not have gone this far,’’ he said.

A student of the University of Ilorin, Kemi Adedeji, who described garri as the most stable food for students, said something must be done to bring down its price.

“No matter the situation in the country, the price of garri must be controlled for the sake of students and the average Nigerians, ‘’ she said.

Another student of the University of Ilorin, Kola Alabi, described the hike in price of garri as unjust, adding that this had only created a lot of hardships for the students.

“We students mostly survive on garri and now that the price is beyond our reach, what else do they want us to feed on,’’ he lamented.