• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Addressing higher prices of staple foods in southern Nigeria

Addressing higher prices of staple foods in southern Nigeria

The prices of staple foods are steadily increasing as the festive period approaches, thereby adding to the strained consumer spending caused by sustained inflationary pressures of the past caused by the supply chain disruptions. What is unique about the trend in prices of food items is that the pressure is more in the southern parts of the country.

Olawale Solape, a grocery seller on one of the notable streets in Lagos said: “Some of these food items are expected to witness a rise in their prices in the last quarter of the year due to higher demand, but surprisingly, their prices are increasing more than we expected.
She continues: “If I buy a bag of rice at N27, 000 and sell it for N28, 000 this week. By next week, the same bag of rice will be bought at N29, 500. I might not be able to buy this same item unless I add more money to the proceeds from my sales”.

The inflationary pressures have affected the staples that are generally consumed in the nation such as beans, boneless beef, bread, gari white, rice, palm oil, yam tubers and a few more.
Prices of rice, bread, groundnut and palm oil, beans and fish which are extremely consumed food by the average Nigerian family are on the high side these days, and many household’ budgets are seriously constrained.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), local rice sold loose was averagely priced at N415.3 per kg on the national basis, and beans brown, sold loose which is also a major staple consumed in the nation was averagely priced at N478.76 per kg in October 2021 compared to N326.88 per kg average price in October 2020, a rise of 46.46 percent on a year-on-year basis.

The average price of beans (white, black eye) sold loose reportedly increased both on year-on-year and month-on-month basis by 54 .72 percent and 0.68 percent respectively to N464.74 in October 2021 from N461.59 in September 2021, and N300.37 in October 2020. Another highly consumable item, beef boneless also increased averagely per kg on a year-on-year by 28.16 percent and month-on-month by 0.04 percent to N1,768.78 in October 2021 from N1,768.14 in September 2021 and N1, 380.14 in October 2020 respectively.

The price per kg of vegetable oil, otherwise known as 1 bottle of vegetable oil sold at N825.46 in October 2021, and rose by 36.90 percent on a year-on-year basis when compared to N602.96 sold per kg in October 2020. The price per kg of vegetable oil also increased on a month-on-month basis by 1.54 percent from N812.94 in September 2021.

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A bottle of palm oil otherwise known as 1 litre of palm oil was sold at N727.2 averagely, as the price increased by 2.50 percent and 41.14 percent on a month-on-month and year-on-year basis respectively. Its highest price per litre was in Anambra at N543.00 and lowest at N138.21 in Gombe state, a north eastern state in Nigeria. As reported by the NBS, the prices of selected food in October were costlier in the southern region.

Conversely, the prices of other staples such as bread, gari white sold loose decreased on a month-on-month basis although increased on a year-on-year basis according to the NBS report.
Gari white sold loose, the common gari consumed all around the nation, decreased on a month on month basis by 3.24 percent in October 2021, but increased by 19.44 percent on a year-on-year basis, as the price per kg averagely stood at N292.57, the same amount of gari white was sold at N244.96 in October 2020.

Some cities had it more expensive. The state with the most expensive items in October 2021 was Ebonyi which is located in the south eastern region of Nigeria. 1kg of gari white was sold at N466.67, a 59.5 percent increase if compared to the average price in the nation which was N292.57. The situation was directly opposite in Sokoto State of Nigeria where the same quantity of gari white was N200 and it was the state with the lowest price in the nation.

Similarly, a loaf of sliced bread, measured to be 500g was averagely priced at N382.77 in October 2021, an increase of 18.64 percent on a year on year but fell by 0.50 percent on a month-on-month to N382.77 in October 2021 from N384.73 in September 2021 and N322.61 in October 2020.
The average price of Titus (frozen) per kg also increased by 35.50 percent year-on-year but decreased by 0.13 percent on the month-on-month to N1,424.58 in October 2021 from N1,426.42 in September 2021 and N1,051.36 in October in 2020.

Nationally, the average price of tomato per kg stood at N347.47 in October 2021, but grew by 1.53 percent when compared with N342.25 in September 2021, and by 12.95 percent on a year-on-year from N307.63 per kg in October 2020. The same quantity of tomato cost N1,155.69 in Ekiti State, where it cost the most and N493.75 in Niger State where it cost the least.

The high price of tomato in some regions of the nation: south-south and south-east where the average price of 1kg cost N593.93 and N567.52 respectively can be attributed to bad supply chain. Beef boneless has become the highest priced food commodity across the geopolitical zones in Nigeria with the highest price being N2,288.30 and the lowest price was N1,269.19 in the north eastern region of the nation.
Pre-packed golden penny 2kg wheat flour was N912.72 on the average pricing in the nation. The least cost was in the north eastern part of the nation at averagely N752.38 while the highest cost was in the south eastern region at N1,116.55.

A 2kg wheat flour was sold for N911.88 in September 2021 which shows a 0.09 percent increase on a month-on-month basis. It also increased by 23.19 percent on a year-on-year basis from N740.89 in October 2020. The same amount of wheat was sold for N900.28 in the north-west in October 2021.
The geopolitical regions seem distinct with the pricing of major food items with the south eastern region of the nation recording higher than the average price on various commodities across all the geopolitical zones.

Beef boneless was averagely sold for N1768.78 per kg nationally where as it was sold at N2,288.30 averagely in the south east. This is an increase by 29.37 percent. The prepacked 2Kg golden penny wheat flour which was averagely N912.72 nationally was sold 22.3 percent higher at N1,116.55 in the south eastern region.
Palm oil seems to be a food commodity that is not extremely highly priced across all regions, as the price of palm oil per bottle, 1Kg, was sold highest in the south eastern region for N898.18. It cost N858.97, N850.14, N764.91, N543.85, and N499.97 in the south-south, south-west, north-west, north-central and north east regions accordingly.

Yam tubers seem to be more affordable than many other food items across the various regions in the nation. A Yam tuber was sold for N313.05 on the average nationally. However, it was sold for N412.98 in the south east and N128.82 in the north-east. Its lowest price was in Adamawa State at N145.07 while it was sold for N454.48 in Abia State in the south eastern region, which was the highest in the nation.

Some commodities like tomato, beans brown sold loose, rice local sold loose, onion bulb per kg was sold for N195.37, N377.82, N393.01, and N178.97 respectively in October 2021 in the north-central region.
On the other hand, the same commodities were sold for N140.77, N269.31, N349.74 and N152.64 in the north-east, and were sold for N290.55, N390.12, N348.28, N246.66 accordingly, in the north west.