By Onyeje Abutu-Joel
Makurdi, April 27, 2021 Residents, particularly housewives in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, have lamented the increase in prices of food items.
A survey conducted by Newsmen on Tuesday in Makurdi showed that prices of food items have been increasing on a daily basis.
Many housewives interviewed by NAN said that feeding their families has now become very difficult as the prices of essential food items have multiplied in the past few months.
Mrs Rose Onazi, a housewife, said that the sharp rise said that the sharp rise in prices of various goods, especially food and household items, has made nonsense of the amount she receives as monthly house keeping allowance from her husband.
Onazi said that many of the items she bought a week before had increased either by 50 per cent, 100 per cent or even more.
She said that the development had started taking a negative toll on the wellbeing of many homes, so much so that some are now impoverished and unable to meet the rising cost of living.
“For example, I bought one litre satchet of King’s oil at the rate of N850 last week only to be told today that it is now N1000.
“I also bought a 360grammes of Dano milk at N750 last week but today it is now N850 and half crate of eggs which was N650 last week is now N700 and the list goes on”, Onazi lamented.
Another resident, Mrs Gloria Edeh also told NAN that in the last one month prices of food stuffs had increased in geometric progression.
“It is always very annoying when you come to the market with your budget and discover that you have to start altering it because prices have changed from what you used to know.
“I always shout at the traders over the constant increase in prices of food items, but when you think of it, it is not their fault but the manufacturers.
“The trader is in business to make gains so he will only sell at slightly above the price of what he bought from the manufacturer”, Edeh explained.
Similarly, Mrs Ngohol Agber, another housewife, lamented that there was no food item or product whose price had not increased.
According to her, a kilogramme of cow meat that was sold for N1,400 is now sold at N2000.
“Even common garri has become an essential commodity,” Agber said.
She said that many wives have evolved a system to buy what is affordable and available, because the prices of food commodities are so high and beyond the reach of the common man.
Other housewives; Mrs Achetu Ochefu, Mrs T. Olobatoke and Mrs Nkiru Chuka who spoke to NAN blamed the ‘everyday’ increase in prices of food items and other products on the manufacturers.
They lamented that the incessant increase in prices of consumables was telling negatively on their families’ economy.
Meanwhile, a cross section of traders told NAN that the situation was also difficult for them as sales had dropped terribly.
They lamented that high prices of foodstuffs had resulted in low patronage by customers.
The traders attributed the rise in prices of foodstuffs to security challenges being experienced in parts of the country and the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
The respondents all called on the government to set up a price control board that would regulate prices of consumables and other products in the market so that average Nigerians could survive.