June 19, 2024

Consumers, traders attribute rising cost of food to fuel price hike

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Adewale Akintaro

Consumers, market leaders and traders of food produce in Lagos have blamed the high cost of food produce in the country on fuel price hikes.

The traders have also attributed the hyperinflation of food prices on the growing insecurity in the Northern parts of the country, warning that if nothing is done to address the exorbitant food prices, Nigerians will start dying of hunger.

Mohammed Abdullah, a tomatoes seller at Sango main market blamed the hyperinflation of food on multiple taxation and insecurity.

He implored the Tinubu administration to rachet up the ongoing military action against banditry and criminality in the Northern parts of the country, as well as fuel price and illegal road blocks.

“I have been in this business for more than 30 years. The problem is multiple taxation,
Every state has produce checkpoints which they extort money from us. I don’t think the foreign exchange rate is the problem of food inflation, the high cost of food is man-made.

“Between Benue and Lagos every truckload of goods must spend between N190,000 and N250,000 on roadblocks. The driver has to settle various checkpoints and roadblocks on the road by Police, touts, community youths, Local Government levies, etc. All these add up to the price of the goods.

Another trader, Ibrahim Maigida who sells yams in the same market said:

“We spend a lot of money, double the amount we used to spend before to convey yams, sweet potatoes and onions from Makurdi and Sokoto to southern parts of the country. The drivers complain of extortion from security operatives and attacks from bandits. The drivers are complaining of the high cost of fuel and diesel.

“Secondly, insecurity is a challenge. Before you move from any part of the North to Lagos, you are sure to spend not less than N250,000 on touts on the major roads, they call it taskforce. This happens from state to state.”

For his part, a fruit retailer at Ile Epo market, close to Iyana Ipaja, Biodun Ayinde blamed the food inflation on bad government leadership, bad roads, fuel price hikes, and insecurity.

“Before now we used to sell a small basket of tomatoes between N5,000 and N8,000 here, but today we are buying the same tomatoes at N15,000, and spend N7000 on transport for each basket, that’s why we are selling it for N25,000 in Lagos.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC says it would develop a report and make recommendations to the government, to enable the government to initiate broad-based policies that would ensure fair pricing for consumers.

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