Awka residents task government on food price regulations, lament hike 

Fri, Feb 2, 2024
By editor


RESIDENTS of Awka, the Anambra capital city, are lamenting the hike in prices of foodstuff, saying the economic hardship experienced on daily basis are without any form of help in sight.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondent, who conducted a survey on the cost of food items, reports on Thursday in Awka, that residents have expressed total dismay over the continued high cost of living.

Mrs Chioma Beluchukwu, a pretty trader who operates in a street market, said that the hike in prices of foods is  overwhelmingly.

She called on government agency on markets and price regulations to be active and ensure that traders do not increase prices of items with impunity.

According to Beluchukwu, one can hardly buy reasonable wares with the sum of N200,000 to stock in shops.

Beluchukwu said that cost of items rises on daily basis without any form of price  regulation.

“Government agency on price control should be activated to monitor traders who sell old wares as new consignment.

“Government should be able to regulate the prices of basic food items to avoid arbitrary increases.

“Items like milk, sugar, biscuits, bread, eggs, amongst others need to be well monitored before hunger and death toll set in,” she warned.

Beluchukwu said a roll of sachet milk now costs N1,200 against N600 in December.

According to her, a cartoons of cabin biscuits is N7,500 against the old price of N4,000, with a pack going for N700 against between N400 and N500.

Mrs Nkechi Nwaokoye, a restaurant operator, said items like meat, fish, crayfish, Maggie, spices are now for the rich.

Nwaokoye said that the hike is nearly pushing her out of business because if  the food is not very tasty, no customer will visit her shop.

“To make a good commercial pot of soup or stew now, you have to budget N30,000, excluding the cost to buy rice, semolina, beans and other needed items.

She said that the hike has made the business not too rewarding as they hardly make ends meet after sales.

“It is really hard for food vendors who have tasked government to intervene in any possible way,” she appealed.

Mrs Ngozi Onyibor said with the  continued hike in food items, further delay by government to force down prices could breed criminals.

She said that the state of the economy is making life unbearable for many people.

Mr Martin Abana, a meat seller at kwata Market, complained of low patronage caused by the high cost of livestock.

Another trader, Mrs Grace Anagor, expressed regret over the current situation while comparing the recent prices of foodstuff with those of past years.

Anagor said that a bag of rice which was sold for between N48,000 and N50,000, now goes for N55,000 to N60,000.

She said that a custard bucket of garri that was sold for N1,200 in 2023, now goes for N2,000.

Anagor said that a painter measure of beans is sold for N3,800 while a cup of beans is sold for N200 to N300, depending on the grade.

Mrs Patricia Okoye, a vegetable and palm oil seller, said though there are increase in major food items, people are still patronising her.

Okoye said her wares are locally sourced from her farmland so the cost of logistics she spend in transporting wares to market is less than those major food dealers.

She attributed the hike currently facing the traders and buyers to insecurity in the country as many farmers have resorted to other means of livelihood for fear of being attacked in their farms.

Okoye appealed to government to work hard to tame insecurity challenges in the country so that products and other goods can be transported across the states of the country.

Mr Chibuzo Okeke, said that many people cannot afford three meals a day, attributing the high cost of foodstuff to transportation and attacks on farmers.

He expressed the fear that the situation would get worse if nothing was done by relevant authorities.

“The free falling value of the naira is also key to the hardship experienced by common Nigerians,” he said. (NAN)


-February 2, 2024 @ 6:36 GMT|