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Abuja residents lament rising food prices amid petrol, naira scarcity

Prices of food items have continued to rise in Bwari, FCT, amidst the fuel and naira scarcity, leaving residents groaning under intense hardships.

According to residents on Friday, foodstuff prices have continued to rise unabated as against the drop in prices in states and rural areas.

Talatu Danjuma, a tomato seller at the Bwari market, said that the commodity price had risen quickly, with a basket now selling for N16,000 as against N5000 and N6000.

Ms Danjuma attributed the hike to the high cost of transporting goods from the farms due to fuel scarcity.

Blessing Yohanna, a yam seller, expressed worry that the naira scarcity was affecting her business. Most of the transactions were now cashless, and traders in rural areas would not accept electronic transfers.

“About N30,000 of my money is still hanging due to network issues surrounding transfers. Five tubers of yams which we used to sell for N2,500, now go for N3000 because we have to include POS (Point of Sale) charges,” Ms Yohanna said.

Another resident, Philip Abang, condemned the exorbitant charges by the POS operators, describing it as “outrageous.”

Mr Abang said, “Queues are on the increase daily in banks and filling stations, situations that are seriously affecting businesses. I thought the Supreme Court’s pronouncement on the return of the old notes of N500 and N1,000 was going to alleviate our plight in this country. It is unfortunate that people are still rejecting the old notes, and the new money is not in circulation up till now.”

He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to take urgent steps to tackle the challenges and save the masses.

“I have to be at the bank by 4:00 a.m. to pick a number in order to get cash. It is that bad,” Mr Abang said.

A survey also revealed that foodstuff prices have gone a little higher or remain static.

A bottle of palm oil previously selling for N100 now costs N1200. A bag of rice, however, still costs between N37,000 and N45,000 depending on the brand or if it is local or foreign.

A cup of melon (egusi) now costs N400 instead of N300, a crate of eggs is now N2,500 instead of N2,200, and a kilo of beef now goes for as much as N3,500.


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