PRICES of foodstuffs are on the rise in Enugu as a result of fuel scarcity and movement of dealers in the commodities to their states for the general elections.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who conducted a market survey in some major markets in Enugu metropolis, observed that the prices of the commodities have recorded more than 30 per cent increase.
“Some traders, who spoke with NAN blamed the increment in price of the foodstuffs on the increase of pump price of petroleum products, and the general elections in the country.
They said that the dealers of most of the foodstuffs, such as tomatoes and yams, could not bring the produce down to the eastern part of the country as most of them were still waiting for the elections to be concluded.
Mrs Dorothy Eze, a dealer in tomatoes at Garki Market, Agbani Road, Enugu, said that the price of tomatoes was unstable at the moment due to the elections.
Eze added that expectedly, after the governorship election, the price would no doubt stabilise.
“The price will reduce after the election because those bringing the produce from the North, have travelled to cast their votes.
“Until they start bringing down tomatoes to the state, the prices would continue to rise,” she said.
Miss Uka Adiele, a tomato seller at the same market said that a basket of the product was now N26,000 as against its previous price of N14,000.
“This is tomato season, when someone can get a basket of tomato at N10,000, but due to the elections, most of our northern friends, who bring tomatoes from that part of the country have gone to vote in their respective states,” Adele said.
Also, Mr Okey Adigwe, a yam dealer at New Market, said that the price of yam had continued to rise due to the increase in pump price of petroleum products in Enugu and the ongoing general elections in the country.
Adigwe said that a sizable tuber of yam now sold for N1000 and N1,200 as against N700 and N900 in January.
He added that a big size of yam was being sold between N2,500 and N3000, as against N2000 and N2,600 previously.
Meanwhile, some customers decried the rise in prices of some food items among others.
They, however, called on the state government to create enabling environment for farmers to produce enough food to avoid over dependence on other states.
A resident of Achara layout, Mrs Jacinta Nweke, said that it was unfortunate that the government was not willing to encourage farmers to produce enough food for the citizens.
According to Nweke, if only the state government can be serious with tomato cultivation in Nsukka, there will be enough of the product in the state. (NAN)