By Meletus EZE
Some residents of Nasarawa State have continued to groan over the hike in prices of major foodstuff.
The residents on Tuesday said they had to do away with eating certain food items as they presently could not afford them.
Mrs Doris Ewere, a mother of three said that the feeding pattern in her home hasd changed noticeably in order to save cost.
She said she does not blame the traders as they had other factors such as transportation cost, apart from the actual price of the foodstuff to consider.
“Although, most of the sellers buy their goods at a high cost, they also have to consider the cost of transportation and this also contributes to the price hike.
“It is very discouraging to go to the market these days because of the hike. For instance a module of crayfish is N1, 700 which used to be sold for N1, 000 or N1, 200.
“Everyone has the idea of what a bag of rice is now, one can hardly afford half bag of rice.
“Some people are greedy even when things are supposed to be cheaper, they make it to be more expensive, capitalising on what the country is passing through.
“In fact, some of them also capitalise on the current situation to increase prices of items because they know that people will definitely patronise them,’’ Ewere said.
Mrs Tope Lanre, a civil servant, also a mother of four, said that the cost of food items was increasing astronomically, although the income of the average person has not.
Lanre attributed the high cost of food items to insurgency and attack by Fulani herdsmen in some states that were aggressive in farming.
She noted that such act contributed to high cost of foodstuff and also tells on the produce available in the market.
“Egusi is for rich people now, from nowhere the price just increased, a module used to be N600 but now is N1, 500 or thereabout.
“Are you talking of yam, in my house I cannot remember the last month we ate yam, because it is on the high side and not affordable.
“Tomatoes is now essential commodity, people hardly use tomatoes, instead they go for tin tomatoes which is not really healthy as such because it is not organic.
“One can no longer afford foodstuff, not that the salary has increased,” she stressed.
Mr Julius Kayode, a businessman, said that the exchange rate contributed to the high prices of imported products. Kayode, who said homemade products were cheaper than the imported ones, noted that some producers would still increase their products’ prices to make more profit.
“If the government put in place good policies to check the unpatriotic activities of some business people, it will help to control inflation.
“When inflation is controlled, the people will be happy, and their standard of living will improve, they will be productive in their places of work,” Kayode said.
A food vendor, Mrs Fatima Mohammed said that the high cost of cooking ingredients in the market was becoming worrisome, because it had cause her set back in her business.
Mohammed said the amount she usually spends in buying food items had doubled and as a result she could no longer afford to buy things the way she used to.
She added that this had affected patronage, in the sense that when customers come to eat, they expect you to dish the food in the usual way.
Mohammed said when the customers discovered that the quantity of the meal was not as expected, he or she complains bitterly and never returns rather the person would go for snacks and drinks.
“It is only some customers that understand the plight of the food vendors and the situation of things in the country that always come back to patronise them.
“Some have developed the habit of carrying food from home not minding the stress, instead of buying food that will not satisfy him or her.
“The truth is that things are very expensive, food vendors are not enjoying the increase in the prices of goods not even our customers.
“A lot of Nigerians are finding it difficult to buy things or eat to their satisfaction, unlike some years back,” she said.