Traders in Ajah have called on the federal government to invest in Nigerian-made food and make them more available to the citizens, as there is an everyday increase in prices of staple foods imported into the country, especially rice.
A visit to Ajah market today, showed that the price of a 50KG bag of rice now sell for N16,500- N17,000, from its former price of N14,500, depending on the brand.
Speaking with Ajahcity reporter, a rice seller, Mr. Peter, said that the prices are not predictable and there is a gradual increase as the week goes by.
”Rice increases daily. Just last week, I sold a bag of rice for N14,500 to N15,000 but now I sell for N16,500 to N17,000. People are seriously complaining about the hike but they still manage to buy” he said.
Another rice seller, Mr. Ifeanyi expressed his dissatisfaction in the scarcity of Nigerian-made rice in the market. He revealed that the local rice is also expensive, and the customs officers often seize the imported rice, which leaves them no choice but to increase the prices of the staple food.
”The government wants us to buy our own rice, but it is hardly available and when you eventually get it, the supply comes in small quantity and quite expensive. Meanwhile, they seize most imported bags of rice, which leaves us no choice but to increase the prices of what we have in our stores” Mr Ifeanyi said.
He added that the hike is also caused by high cost of transportation due to bad roads.
He therefore urged the government to look into the Nigerian-made rice, make them affordable and available for all, as it is one of the ways to tackle the harsh condition of the economy.
Also, a resident, Mrs Sarah noted that if the government could invest in the agricultural sector, there would be no need for foreign food and fluctuation of prices in agriculture would be avoided.
However, some traders revealed that the Muslim festive period may not lead to a hike in prices of some perishable goods.