• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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COVID-19: Anger in Lagos, Ogun, FCT markets as prices of foodstuff soar


Following the announcement on Sunday by President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-week shutdown order on Lagos, Abuja and Ogun State to stop further spread of COVID-19, residents of the affected states have lamented the high rate of foodstuff in the markets.

In a bid to ensure that they stock their houses with foodstuff, many of the residents who have stormed the markets at Ile-Ipo, Agege, Oshodi, Idumota, Mile 12, Ojota, Wuse Area One, Area 10, Garki ,Kuto, Lafenwa, Sango, Ifo and Idiroko to buy food items were taken by surprise as the prices of goods have skyrocketed.


At Ile-Epo market, a suburb area of Agbado/ Oke- Odo Local Authority Development Area of Lagos state, the prices of garri, one of the staple foods in the country were increased with about three hundred per cent. Garri which used to sell for N500 was increased to N1500 and N1800 respectively.

Similarly, Agege, Idumota and Oshodi markets, garri goes for N1400 and N1600 respectively. While a derica of rice which was sold for N300 before Sunday now goes for N600.

At Sango, Ifo and Idiroko markets, garri also went up by 300 per cent as residents of these areas pays between N1400 and N1700. A tuber of yam also goes for between N800 and N1300 as against N500 and N700 being sold before the Sunday announcement.

At Kuto market in Abeokuta North local government area, the hike in prices of garri did not go down well with the youths in the area, who mobilized to the market to ensure that the price was brought down to N900.

Those who flaunt the order had their produce taken away from them and were sold to the public by the youths at the price of N900.

This development forced those who could not sell at the agreed price to lock their stores and go home for fear of the youths who were bent on enforcing the agreed prices.

Some of the market women who spoke to BusinessDay said they bought the produce at high prices adding that they had no choice than to sell at a high rate. One of the garri sellers who spoke under strict anonymity said, “We bought this garri at a very high price because those that sold to us told us that government is closing the borders on Monday night. So we have no option than to sell at a very high price too because that is how we bought.

But with what the youths are doing now we are selling at a loss.” Some who supported the actions of the youths said it was wrong for the women to increase the prices of garri stressing that government has not increased prices of petroleum products so there was no need to increase the prices of foodstuff just because of lockdown.

Christie Onoja (Mrs), who came to Ile-Epo market to buy foodstuff said, “We were all taken by surprise this morning when we came to the market. The prices of foodstuff just tripled. We don’t see any reason why they should increase things like this. It is not faring at all. Please government should do something about this if not we will die of hunger during the coming lockdown.’’