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General News of Monday, 31 May 2021

Source: www.mynigeria.com

Nigerians criticize the FG for raising food prices in the country

Nigerians criticize the Federal Government (FG) for raising food prices in the country. Nigerians criticize the Federal Government (FG) for raising food prices in the country.

 • This is due to the country's ever-increasing food inflation rate

 • Food inflation reached 21.79 percent in February 2021

 • The ongoing conflict between farmers and herders, shrinking currency, insurgency, and increasing fuel prices

According to Information in Nigeria, the ordinary Nigerian household can barely afford three square meals a day.

Food inflation reached 21.79 percent in February 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In January, it was at 20.57 percent. In March, it reached a new high of 22.95 percent.

The ongoing conflict between farmers and herders, shrinking currency, insurgency, and increasing fuel prices, according to SBM Intelligence, have all contributed to the rise in food costs.

“Are you talking about three square meals? For many of us, even two square meals is becoming a luxury. My husband is currently on a 0-0-1 diet (no food till dinner) and is not on a mandatory fast.

But what are our options? The school fees for the students have not changed. Mrs Nkiru Ezeulu, 37, stated, "This country would push you to fast whether you want to or not."

A food stall owner in Aguda market, Lagos State, Patrick Johnson, 49, told Information Nigeria that he is not making profits on food items as before.

“This thing is getting out of hands. As a retailer, I am forced to add my gain which is just N50 here, N100 there. What kind of profit is that?

Sometimes, I am forced to sell at the wholesale cost price without any gain because some customers would appeal and make it seem like I’m cheating them. How can I cheat them when I haven’t even made any gains myself? For instance, 1.5 litres of Kings vegetable cooking oil which comes from wholesale at N1200, I sell it N1300. But some customers will still price it to that N1200 or we’ll settle at N1250. It’s frustrating.”

Timothy Mayowa, a 25-year-old youth corps member told Information Nigeria that he is practically taking on odd jobs just to feed as the stipend he receives from the federal government is barely enough for his feeding in a month.

“You would think N33,000 should be enough for a young man with no wife and children. But that hasn’t been the case at all. In Lagos, N33,000 is like N10,000.

Is it eggs, beef or fish? The other day I bought N400 smoked fish and they gave me just two very small pieces. Have things really gotten that bad? Let’s not even go to eggs. Or beverages. I usually skip breakfast now. Living alone in Lagos has really taught me a lot”, he said.

For Gbadebo Oduntan, a meat seller in the Census market, Lagos State, the strike by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) has drastically reduced the availability of cattle to be slaughtered for sale.

This has, in turn, caused a spike in the prices of meat and other foodstuffs as traders have to buy cows at exorbitant prices than before.

“They made it almost impossible for cows to get here because of the strike. And this is why meat is very expensive now. If you want to buy a kilo now, you’ll pay N3500 for what you would normally get at N1500, N2000 before”.

When asked if he envisions a price drop or a return to normal prices, he said:

“I doubt that you can get that anymore. In Nigeria, when prices of things go up, they hardly return back to the usual prices”.

“We also have to make our profits. It’s hard for meat (beef) sellers now. We now spend almost N100,000 for the portion we used to buy at N50,000, N60,000 before.”

A beef consumer who pleaded anonymity says he has to resort to other alternatives for beef.

“Maybe pork or something – or eggs – anything to supplement this. I bought N5000 worth of meat last week and it’s been barely a week that my family has finished it. I have two children and my wife – we are four”, he said.

“But these alternatives may not even be the best. A crate of egg is about N1500 now. I have children all under puberty. They need this protein. We the adults in the family may have to sacrifice our meals for the children. That’s the hardship we are now facing in this country”, he continued.

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