Prices of rice and other foodstuff have risen in recent months in Asaba, the Delta State capital, a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday has shown.
The survey indicated that a 50kg bag of Royal Stallion and Milan Gold brands of rice, which sold for N8,500 in June at the Ogbe-Ogonogo and Abraka markets, now sell for N10,000.
The price of 50kg of another brand of rice, Mama Africa, now sells for N10,500 at the markets, as against N9,800 in June. The price of other brands of rice also rose by about 26 percent in the past two months.
The survey further revealed that a carton of turkey edible oil, which was sold for N10,000 in June, now sells for N11,000, while the retail price has now gone up to N1,200 from N1000.
Some rice dealers interviewed attributed the price increase to the strict adherence by the present administration to the rice import quota policy, which restricts the flooding of the country markets with foreign rice.
According to Uche Okorie, a dealer in Ogbe-Ogonogo Market, Asaba, the sudden increase in price was due to the scarcity of foreign exchange.
Okorie said the situation had resulted in a drop in her sales, as customers no longer bought the quantities they used to buy.
Another dealer, Chioma Enebeli, said her sales had dropped, adding that some customers now bought half a bag of the commodity, instead a full bag.
Abdulahi Mamud, a retailer at Abraka Market, said the increase in price had affected his business.