SOME residents of Abakilki, the Ebonyi capital, have expressed joy over the reduction in the price of local rice in the area ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the situation at the Rice Mill Market in Abakaliki, reports that the highest grade of 50kg bag of the commodity, which sold for between N26,000 and N26,500 in November, now sells for between N19,500 and N20, 000.
NAN investigation on Thursday also shows that the price of lower quality of 50kg rice also crashed and now sells from N16,000, N14,000 to N12,000, respectively.
Speaking in an interview with NAN at the mill, a buyer, Mr Maduabuchi Okike, described the price reduction as a welcome development.
“Thank God for the development but I am still asking for a government policy to regulate the price of locally-produced goods.
“Nigeria has come of age to checkmate arbitrary price hike by manufacturers in order to ameliorate the sufferings of its citizens.
“Upward price review of food items has become recurrent decimal. It should not be so,” Okeke said.
Also, Mrs Chinelo Nworie, expressed joy over the development.
Nworie urged the three tiers of government and individuals to invest more in agriculture.
“It has become a regular experience for traders to increase the price of their goods during festive season.
“Thank God that there is rice everywhere in the market now and the price is also affordable.
“One can buy the 50kg, 25kg or the 5kg bag to celebrate the Christmas,” she said.
A rice dealer and farmer, Mr Okey Onuh, said the price hike in November was not caused by the sellers but cost of production.
Onuh said that the cost of inputs included clearing of farm, cultivation, harvest and general labour.
“Over the years, we have never sold rice as costly as this year.
“In November, the price was high but now it has gone down slightly.
In 2019, a bag of the highest grade sold at N11,000 but it sells for N20,000 this year.
NAN recalls that the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Moses Nomeh, recently blamed the high price of rice this year in Ebonyi on high cost of production.
According to Nomeh, the cost of inputs, such as labour, hiring of machinery, land and herbicides, increased astronomically this year.
– Dec. 17, 2020 @ 18:40 GMT |