By Deborah Oyewo
The Iyaloja General of Kwara State, Hajia Adenike Abdulkareem has maintained that reorganisation of market will assist in regulating prices of commodities in the state.
Recall that the Kwara State Government recently announced that it has concluded plans to reorganise markets in the state to ease purchase of goods by citizens.
Speaking to Pilot Business, Adenike said “This move by the government will help control prices of food items and other commodities. if sellers of similar commodities are in the same market, no one will sell at higher price than the other because there will be proper monitoring.”
She said the state government has been concerned about the issue of pricing on goods and taking proactive steps.
In her words, “The state government and market leaders in the state are on the move to control prices of food items in Kwara, such that we can sell to the citizens at the lowest prices.”
Speaking further, she attributed the difference in prices of same commodity in different markets to retail and wholesale factor, adding that such differences will be addressed soon to curb exploitations of buyers.
She, however, called on the federal and state governments to check excess of exportations of food items in the country, so as to make it sufficient and readily available for citizens at reasonable prices.
Earlier, Pilot Business had observed that prices of food items have skyrocketed in markets across the state capital.
During a recent visit to Mandate Market, Oja Oba and Oja Tuntun in Ilorin, buyers and sellers expressed worry over hike in prices of food items and commodities.
According to a trader, Mariam Ibrahim, the prices of virtually all food items have increased in markets across the state.
In her words, ” For now, it is only the price of bag of rice that has reduced a bit, a bag of big grain of rice reduced from N18,000 to N16,500 but on the other hand, bag of small seed increased from N17,000 to about N19,000.
“It is same with other items like semovita, noodles, palm oil and groundnut oil among others, the prices of the food items have not been stable for the past six month.”
On the effect of the situation on traders, she said, “We now make little or no profit as customers don’t buy in large quantity, most times our wares stays longer on stall.”
For Yam sellers at Oja Tuntun, the story is same.
A trader, who simply identified herself as Iya Quadri said “although yam is usually expensive during this period but in spite of that the prices are still high. Our customers who buy in big scale before cannot afford to buy much again as they now buy in pieces, even some buy on credit now.”
Lending her voice, a frozen food seller at Mandate market, Hajia Hawau said the prices of frozen foods have been fluctuating.
“Presently, a kilo of chicken, which used to sell for N800 is now sold for N1,300 and sales is low, ” she added
Abdulazeez Folorunsho, a trader at the same market attributed the issue to hoarding on the part of manufacturers.
“When these manufacturers discover that the country is experiencing a meltdown, they hoard these imperishable food items and cause a scarcity before bringing inflating prices and this to a large extent will bite harder on the poor,” he noted.
Folorunsho appealed for government intervention to control prices of food items in particular.
A customer, Mrs. Praise Oduagha decried the effect of price increment on her household shopping.
She said, “For the past six months, I have minimised my shopping, because the money estimated for shopping on monthly basis is no longer enough to stock the house.
“When you get to the market this week, and buy food items for a particular price, when you come the following week and want to buy same item, the price would have gone up.
“Prices of all food stuffs are now on the high side, in fact, I have decreased the amount of food I cook in my house because the economy is not improving yet prices of food items are high, how do the poor feed?”