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Headline News Nigeria Special Report

Yuletide: Nigerians decry hike in cost of food items

Christmas is a time of spiritual reflection on the important foundations of the Christian faith.

It’s also a celebration, when Christians celebrate God’s love for the world through the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christmas is also seen as a period that symbolizes giving, sharing and caring for one another, which comes with a lot of merriment, of buying and selling, as well as vacations which entails spending money.

Meanwhile, this year, the high inflation rate is making it look as if it is going to be a bleak Christmas for some Nigerians, as prices of food items they will need were sold above their reach.

How would the average Nigerian cope with all of these? The high cost of food items in these festive periods is an issue of concern. How would the period be celebrated without compromising the joyful moments.

Radio Nigeria’, visit to Yankaba vegetable market, one of the biggest perishable food hubs in Kano, reveals the tremendous increase in the prices of tomatoes and pepper, with a bowl selling for N1,000 and N1,200.”

Patience Uzodinma, and Ronke Adekunle attributed the rise to the yuletide period and fuel scarcity, Saying that a measure of rice is sold at 2,100-2,200, while groundnut oil and palm oil goes for 1,100-1,200 per bottle.

They appealed to the government, and relevant stakeholders to assist the less privileged, by setting up a price control mechanism to alleviate suffering, as food and clothing materials are too expensive in the market.

“We are in a tight situation and God is the only one to get us out of this, the Christmas is not going to be good.”

Alhaji Labaran Sa’idu Sheka, is the chairman of the Kano vegetable sellers association, said  the price of commodities in  the market has not changed.

He explained that the market association had set up a price control that ensures commodities are sold based on quality and availability to avoid inflation.

The chairman stressed that, during festive periods such as Christmas, Sallah, and Maulud, vegetables are in high demand which makes the price lower. He advised consumers to visit Yankaba Market to enjoy the lowest possible rate. 

A lecturer with the department of Economics, Sa’adatu Rimi college of Education, Dr Abdulsalam Muhammad Kani pointed out that insecurity has contributed to inflation in Nigeria, by promoting scarcity of commodities, where farmers refuse to visit their farms, and closure of businesses and factories due to fear.

He highlighted that all the factors  have compounding effects, saying that, what is happening today on rising cost of food items due to  inflation is a worldwide phenomenon.

The lecturer identified interest and exchange rate, taxation, low production by industries, absence of price control as some of the factors responsible for inflation in Nigeria.

 “In Nigeria the inflation rate is between 21 to 22% , which  means what you are purchasing will change from one thousand to one thousand two hundred or there about within a short period”

He hinted that steady and adequate power supply, reduction of interest rates charged by commercial banks, tax reduction, availability of forex in all financial institutions, improvement in  security, are some of the major ways  that would assist in reducing the pressure of inflation in Nigeria.

Reporting by Khadijah Aliyu; Editing by Fany Olumoye