Some residents of Bauchi have expressed concern over hike in prices of rubber footwear due to the increase in the demand for the products occasioned by the rainy season.
A survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Wunti and Muda Lawal markets, on Friday in Bauchi, showed that prices had shot up by about 50 per cent since the commencement of the rainy season.
A pair of adult rubber shoes was sold at N1,500 as against its old price of N800 while children footwear costs between N800 and N1, 200 as against N650 in the past weeks.
Some of the traders attributed the hike in prices to the increase in demand amid the low supply of shoes to the markets.
Mr Abdurahman Sunusi, a rubber shoe dealer, said that prices were on the increase in view of the appreciable patronage of the rubber shoes in the area.
Sunusi said that shoes for children and fancy ones had indicated a significant increase in prices since the rainy season set in.
He said that the lucrative nature of the trade attracted many people to go into the rubber shoe business.
Another trader, Abubakar Sani, who expressed joy over the good market condition, said that he now restock his wears on daily basis due to high patronage of the shoes.
Sani said that rubber footwear was being supplied to Bauchi from Kano and Lagos states, adding that prices of the products were up due to the high cost of transportation.
“Presently; I placed an order for the shoes at the interval of two days since the onset of the rainy season, unlike in the past when the supply was on a weekly basis,” he said.
Also, Shehu Sani, said that rubber footwears were popular as it comes in different size and designs to suit the needs of the customers.
“Rubber footwear are designed for different ages and purposes such as sandals for pupils and students, outings and workshops,” he said
However, some of the residents, blamed the traders for unilateral hike in the prices of the footwear to exploit customers.
Mr Ali Mahmud, a resident, said that he had high preferences for rubber shoes in view of its durability and flexible nature.
“I used rubber shoes during harmattan and rainy season because it protects feet from skin cracks and lasts longer,” he said.
“I bought sandals for my children at N800 per pair as against its previous price of N650,” he said, adding that the trend caused heavy drain in his pockets.
Another resident, Mohammed Faruk, who also decried the hike in prices, added that: “The traders are inconsiderate to push the prices up.
“Because of the rainy season people have resorted to the use of rubber footwear, and the traders are taking advantage of the situation to exploit them.
“These products are made in Nigeria; the increase in demand will generate more turnover without adding more on the initial price.”
Also commenting, Mrs Fatima Abubakar, who corroborated earlier opinion, advocated for proactive measures to control prices and check the inflationary trend in the country.