Market Leaders in Ekiti, Ondo, Osun Decry Devastating Impact of Soaring Food Prices

Rising Food Prices: Nigerians Face Unprecedented Hardship

The year 2024 has brought a troubling increase in food prices, plunging many Nigerians into deeper financial woes. The ongoing surge in inflation has severely impacted the purchasing power of citizens, making staple foods increasingly unaffordable and pushing more people into poverty.

Market leaders from Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, and Ogun states have expressed their dismay over the relentless rise in the prices of foodstuffs, exacerbating hunger among the populace.

Medinah Ibrahim, the leader of the market women association at Oja-Oba in Ado-Ekiti, lamented the challenging times traders are facing compared to the previous year. She warned of a grim future if the economic hardship persists, with more people slipping below the poverty line.

Ibrahim highlighted the staggering price hikes, citing examples such as a plastic Bournvita container, which was previously priced at N5,000 but now sells for N7,800. The cost of a packet of spaghetti has surged from N7,000 to almost N13,000, painting a grim picture of the economic strain on both traders and consumers.

Similarly, Mopelola Olaoluwa, the Iyalaje of Provision Goods traders, voiced her frustrations over the challenges of sustaining customers amidst soaring food prices. She bemoaned the sudden and significant increase in prices, which has led to a decline in customer patronage and profitability.

Olaoluwa highlighted the difficulty in maintaining stable prices, with items increasing in cost by as much as 20% overnight. She cited examples such as Kings’ oil, previously priced at N17,000 per carton, now selling for N23,500 or even N25,000. Chicken-flavored Maggi, once priced at N20,000, has seen its price shoot up to N25,000 in just one week.

Monisola Salawu, Vice-President of the Raw Goods Traders, shared similar sentiments, citing alarming price hikes in staple foods like rice and beans. She revealed that a bag of rice, previously priced around N65,000, now costs over N80,000. A bag of beans has also surged from N88,000 to more than N100,000, further straining the budgets of families and traders alike.

The situation has become dire, with families struggling to afford basic necessities like house rent and meals. Many Nigerians, faced with exorbitant food prices, are forced to reduce their meals to once a day, highlighting the severity of the crisis.

Mrs. Adefunmilayo Adekanye, the Erelu Iyaloja General of Akureland, expressed her dismay over the unprecedented rise in food prices, describing the situation as “terrible and unprecedented.” She urged swift action from the government to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians, emphasizing the urgent need for intervention to address the soaring prices.

In Osun State, pepper and tomato sellers are also feeling the heat of rising costs. Popoola Gomna, the leader of the market, highlighted the challenges faced by major dealers, who are struggling to afford goods due to the shocking price changes. He attributed the supply-demand gap to insecurity in the northern part of the country, where farmers face difficulties accessing their farms due to security concerns.

The prevailing sentiment among market leaders and traders is one of desperation and uncertainty. As food prices continue to skyrocket, Nigerians are left grappling with the harsh reality of diminished purchasing power and increased financial strain. The call for urgent government intervention to curb inflation and stabilize food prices has never been more critical.

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