Prices of tomatoes, pepper and chilli pepper on Thursday soared by over 100 per cent in most markets in Lagos, according to a survey by newsmen reports. The survey showed that a big basket of tomatoes which previously sold for N7, 000 at the Mile 12, Iddo and Whitesand markets now sells for N15, 000.
A jute bag of onions goes for N12, 500.00 from N11, 000.00, while a 20-litre keg of vegetable oil goes for N6,100 as against N6,000 previously. A four-litre paint measurement of garri still sells for N300.
At the Daleko Market, Isolo, the prices of the various brands of a 50-kilogramme bag of rice ranges from N7, 000 to N12,000.
A 120 kilogramme bag of beans costs N24, 500.00, from the N22, 000 it sold for in the preceding weeks. The traders attributed the high cost of transportation to the lingering fuel scarcity and the rainy season, as reasons for the increase in the prices of food items.
Mr Emmanuel Abuchi, a beans seller, attributed the increase in the price of beans to the ongoing planting season. Farmers are not harvesting but planting now, and that is the reason why beans prices keep increasing in the market, Abuchi said. Mr Femi Odusanya, Spokesman of the Mile 12 Traders Association, said fuel scarcity had affected the movement and prices of goods to the Lagos market.
“The number of trucks that bring goods to the market have dropped drastically. “We only now get eight or ten trucks from the 40 trucks that usually bring goods to the market daily because there is no fuel to transport the goods to Lagos. “The differential is the cost of transportation and the off season reflected in the prices of the food items,” he said. “Besides, this is off season for perishable food items, as only a few farmers have food items in their farms to sell.
“Tomatoes from the southwest geopolitical zone of the country and Port Novo in Benin Republic are the ones in the market.”
Alhaji Wasiu Bilawu, the leader, Ifesowapo Yam Market Association, Mile 12, urged Lagosians to bear with the traders, adding that the prices of yam would reduce when new yams come in July. “Before, we pay N4,000 to transport 100 tubers of yams from Abuja to Lagos but now, due to fuel scarcity, we spend N8,000 to transport the same quantity.
“The demand for yams in Lagos is more than what is presently supplied to the market. “Before, ten trucks with yams offload daily at the market but now we just have three trucks. This is another factor that is responsible for the high cost of yams,” Bilawu added.