File: Tomato sellers

Barely five days to Christmas, prices of foodstuff, particularly local rice and tomatoes, have dropped slightly in major markets in the Enugu metropolis, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

A survey conducted by NAN on Saturday showed that the prices of stoned and de-stoned local rice and tomatoes dropped when compared with October prices.

A 50-kilogramme bag of de-stoned local rice sells between N24, 000 and N26,000 as against N26,500 and N28,000, depending on the brand sold two months ago.

Also, a 25 kilogramme bag is sold at between N12,000 and N13, 500 as against N14,000 and N15,000 in October.

A rice dealer at Ogbete Main Market, Mr Joe Maduka, attributed the slight fall in prices to the increased number of stored local rice brought into the market by both rice farmers and wholesalers.

Another rice dealer at Garki Market, Mrs Chinwe Okwu, said that patronage had been massive on local rice as many residents could hardly afford foreign rice due to its high cost.

“Many rice dealers, especially farmers flooded the market with rice, so we are forced to reduce the prices,” Okwu said.

Mr Uche Ojo , a rice dealer at Kenyatta Market, said although the prices of local rice dropped, the price of foreign rice had continued to soar.

“A 50kg bag of rice is now sold for between N38,500 and N41,000 as against N37,000 and N39,000 in October.

“While 25kg of foreign rice is now sold for between N18, 500 and N19,500 as against N18, 000 and N19, 000.

Meanwhile, the survey also revealed that prices of tomatoes had reduced when compared with what they were in October.

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The price of a big basket of UTC tomatoes now sells between N14, 000 and N15,500, as it is gradually flooding the markets.

A small basket of Gboko tomatoes, which comes from Benue State, costs between N9,000 and N10,000.

Mrs Ife Ogadi, a tomatoes seller at Garki Market, attributed the drop in the prices of tomatoes to the harvest season.

However, the prices of chicken have soared across the state as a middle-sized goes for between N3, 000 and N3,800 while the big-sized goes for between N5, 000 and N6, 800.

A chicken seller, at Garki Market, Mrs Udoka Ude, attributed the price increase to the high cost of chicken feeds in the country.

The survey also showed that prices of cooking oil have increased in some markets.

Mrs Louisa Ossai, who deals in cooking oil, said that a five litre of groundnut oil is sold for between N4, 300 and N4, 500 as against N3, 800 and N4, 000 depending on the brand.

Ossai added that a 70-litre bottle of red oil goes for between N550 and N600 as against between N350 and N400 two months ago.

Mrs Chioma Akuchi, who sells red oil, said that 20 litres of red oil now go for N22, 000 as against N14, 000 in October.(NAN)

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