Prices of goods fall weeks after Independence Day celebrations

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Barely weeks after Independence Cay celebrations, some major goods in markets across the state have become affordable.

According to findings by Newsmen at Oniru new market, Ibeju Lekki, and Mile 12 market, Lagos, business activities have returned to normalcy and the level of sales has been encouraging as revealed by traders.

Side view of Oniru new market, Ibeju Lekki Pennisula Phase 1, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos. Photo credit: Esther Odili

Despite the current economic situation that seems to be a riddle to many, basic food items have become available due to excess supply in major markets. Prior to this period, most buyers lament the high cost of goods in the market followed by low cash at hand and traders on the other hand, complain of the low purchasing power of buyers that resulted into poor sales.

But with this new development, traders and buyers have cause to smile again as some goods are not only affordable but the quantity of purchase have increased.

At the market, a trader who sell roasted plantain explained to her business activities after the celebrations.

Iya Kemi said: “The prices of goods have become available but there is an exception to that because not all goods have become relatively low. Now, market activities have resumed and the market situation is friendly. My kind of business is not static, it flows with the season of the goods is sell. When maize is in season, I sell it; when yam is in its season, I sell it too. Right now, I sell plantain and sales is encouraging.

“The cost of purchase of the plantain is quite expensive before now. And now, the price is at a reasonable level. A bunch of plantain before costs N7,000 and now it has reduced to N5,000 now. The ripe one is more affordable than the unripe plantain. Business, I would has really improved lately.”

A plantain seller at the market express satisfaction over the level of sales lately. Photo credit: Esther Odili

At Mile 12 market, there seems to be stability in the price of foodstuff items. Traders who sell rice, beans and garri informed that the price is not influenced by the celebrations rather by the availability and the cost of purchase.

Aside recession, the continuous fluctuation in the price of rice could as well be linked to President Muhammadu Buhari intents to stop rice importation, to encourage Nigerians to patronise Nigeria-Made rice, and also the frequent closure of Benin Republic, Cotounou border, which causes rice-crossers to resort into smuggling of the products into the country.

Mr. Innocent, a trader who sells rice and other foodstuff items at Mile 12 market, told our correspondent that if the cost of purchase is high, the supply will be low and if the cost of purchase is low, the supply will be high.

“The cost of purchasing the goods from neighbouring countries into Nigeria is high and if the border is closed, imported rice will be expensive and if the border is opened, the rice will be less expensive. Although, the local rice is expensive due to the cost of processing it.

“Buyers prefer foreign rice especially aroso because it is of high quality and tastes good. A bag of rice can be purchased from N14,5000, before celebrations and after celebrations. Garri, is still affordable but the price of beans is not stable as it keeps fluctuating considering the availability and supply by marketers from the northern part of the country.

“Sales is boosting, as people cannot do without food. But the level of patronage is low as compared to previous months. The price of these goods is influenced by the cost of purchase and high cost of transportation,” The father of two informed our correspondent.

Traders lament the fluctuating price of foodstuff items in the major markets across the state. Photo credit: Esther Odili

In another development, a fruit seller at the market in Lekki, in a chat with our correspondent blamed the slow pace of his business to the economy of the country. According to him, some fruits are cheap still, sales is quite frustrating.

Mallam Yinus said: “Market is not moving as expected. A lot of people love to patronize us, but they cannot buy up to a particular rate due to the economic situation we all find ourselves. Here, the cost of transporting fruits from Ketu to this market, is quite alarming not leaving out the stress and time. If you do not leave early in the morning, you might not be able to get fresh fruits except when you have built a good relationship with the trader at the market, then you can be assured that they will reserve a better portion for you.

“For fruits like tangerine, orange, pawpaw, apple, carrots, cabbage, watermelon and pineapple they are very cheap compared to avocado, grape, lemon, mint leaves, and English grapes. For banana, there is no fixed price for it, the price is influenced by its season.”

Some fruits have become relatively low while others are quite expensive in markets across the state. Photo credit: Esther Odili

Also, a clothe dealer informed that the instability of the prices of most goods can be likened to the economy of the country as the election activities has taken a toll on business activities in the country considering the finances involved.

According to him, the slight decline in the cost of some goods had not yielded positive outcome in terms of sales owing to low purchasing power of the buyers. Adding that, the fluctuation in the foreign exchange market and the weakening value of the naira is a key factor to look out for ahead of time.

Okechukwu said: “There is no money according to buyers. The money we are spending is nothing compared to the ones politicians are investing into the election. The people are complaining of low cash in circulation. And we as traders, if we do not make profit, how then do we survive?

“The economy has affected a lot of activities in the country. We make sales but it is really poor. Only people who know the worth of quality wares patronize us. Most people go for less quality wares (like the second hand clothes), because it is affordable but not durable.”

A clothe dealer likened the current market condition to the unstable economy of the country. Photo credit: Esther Odili

Further survey by at the market, revealed the increment in the price of goods like beef, fish and hair extensions.

At Mile 12 market, it was also observed by that pepper, tomatoes and onion have become relatively low. Traders attribute this to the availability and excess supply of the goods.

A trader identified simply as Mummy Lekan, ascribed this development to the harvest season.

Tomatoes, pepper and onion have become affordable in markets across Lagos state. Photo credit: Esther Odili

She said: “During farming season, perishable items are always scarce and the supply will be reduced. But during harvest season, they are cheaper, available and the supply increased. This excess supply has resulted in the reduction of the price of the produce.

“A basket of tomatoes that used to sell for N12,000 and N10,000 prior to the festive period is now sold from N8,000 downward while a bag of long pepper popularly called tatase have reduced from N10,000 to N8,000 as well. A bag of round pepper popularly called rodo reduced from N10,000 to N7,000 and the smaller bag of rodo can be purchased at N3,000. A bag of onion now sells from N18,000.”

The increasing nervousness over the 2019 general elections seems to be having serious effects on the economy. It has also been established during this season that, election activities affect local and international markets, interest rates and currency markets, among others.

No doubt, whatever happens in the political arena is bound to affect the market positively or negatively. Reports by experts revealed that, markets react positively to a more business-friendly party, just as there is more market volatility because of the uncertainty of who will be elected than when the outcome is fairly certain.

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Phone accessories on display at Oniru new market, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos. Photo credit: Esther Odili

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