The prices of some foodstuffs have increased slightly ahead of the Easter celebrations, a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has revealed.
NAN correspondents who visited some markets in the FCT on Thursday report that food items including fresh tomatoes, yam, rice, groundnut oil, palm oil and some fruits have recorded little price increases.
The markets visited were located at Nyanya, Jikwoyi, Garki, Karu and Wuse, amongst others.
For instance, before now, a basket of tomato at Nyanya market, a satellite town in the FCT sold for N1, 200 has increased to N1, 700, while the price of rice ranged between N10, 000 and N10, 300.
Similarly, a basket of pepper which was sold for N550 had also risen between N600 and N630 while a basket of onions sold for N500 increased to N600 at Karu market.
However, the prices palm oil and vegetable oil remained unchanged while that of yam increased by N100
Five tubers of yam at the Nyanya market sold at N900 now cost at N1, 000 while in Karu Market five tubers sold for N1, 000 last week had risen to between N1, 100 and N1, 200.
The price of 50 tubers of yam at Mararaba (Orange Market) in neighbouring Nasarawa state also increased from N7, 500 to N8, 000.
The price of fruits reduced in those markets with a bag of orange dropping from N4, 000 reduced to N3, 000.
Mrs Margaret Onujo, a member of Market Women Association, Karu, complained of low patronage, blaming the situation on cash squeeze.
In his remarks, Mr Chukwudi Nnaji, one of the executives at Nyanya market attributed the slight increase in the prices to the recent bomb blast which had affected the transportation of goods to the markets.
Nnaji appealed to the federal government to provide more vehicles to help ease the difficulties being experienced.
At the Kubwa Market, there was relative stability in prices of commodities but traders generally complained of low sales.
Mrs Christine Victor, a dealer in frozen foods, attributed the poor sales to the state of the economy, especially the insecurity and fuel scarcity.
He said: “Things appear so abnormal in the country and Nigerians are not in the mood for celebration.
“Even though we have not increased prices, patronage is still very low, a carton of frozen chicken is still between N8, 000 and N8, 500.”
Majid Adamu, a trader at the Garki Market, attributed the hike in prices of food items to transportation problems, saying that most suppliers had travelled for the Easter celebrations.
Meanwhile, a consumer, Mrs Ajoke Bodunrin, has appealed to the federal government, to re-introduce the price control system, in order to forestall unnecessary price increase of commodities especially during festive seasons.
NAN observed that the fuel scarcity witnessed some weeks ago in some parts of the country, including the FCT, has reappeared in the Abuja metropolis.
However, there have been no reports of increase in transport fare.