Connect with us

Business

Tough Easter: Food prices remain high despite naira gain

Published

on

Easter is looking gloomy for most Nigerian families, as many cannot afford to celebrate the way they ought to, Theheute reports.

Easter, mostly celebrated by Christians, is seen as a season of sharing and caring for families.

It involves a lot of eating, drinking and outing, but many families do not see themselves enjoying the season because of the hike in the prices of goods and services, which the weakened naira can no longer purchase.

More Nigerians have continued to lament the hike in commodity prices in the country despite the naira regaining its value.

Advertisement

The hike in the prices of goods and services has also been attributed to the naira to dollar exchange rate.

Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria released $10,000 to each Bureau De Change to be sold at N1,251/$1, with a view to strengthen the naira.

The apex bank directed each BDC to sell the dollars to eligible customers at a rate not exceeding 1.5 per cent above the purchase price, implying that each BDC was not expected to sell above N1,269/$1.

Despite these interventions by the apex bank, the prices of goods and services have remained on the high side.

A father of four in Ikosi, Ketu, Lagos, Pastor Ginikachi Onuoha, told Theheute that the Easter season was one when he cooked a lot of food and shared with the less privileged.

Advertisement

But this year, Onuoha said he could not even afford to comfortably feed his family or buy them new clothes for the season.

“It was yesterday (Thursday) that my wife was asking me what we are going to cook for Easter. I just laughed and told her to manage what we have. Even the kids were asking me if they wouldn’t wear new clothes; I didn’t know what to tell them.

ALSO READ  LaLiga club Cadiz to pay tribute to Mohbad

“I had to struggle every day to feed my family. I am into fulltime ministry. My wife is just a tailor. It is just too much load for us to carry. The season is not looking like Easter at all,” he said.

A woman, Mrs Selene Togba, who sells fish at the Bonny Cool Beach in Rivers State, said the season did not look like the Easter period she was used to.

“Before now, you would see people trooping in and buying things, but the market is so empty. You will not even believe that people are celebrating. It is a gloomy holiday for us all,” she said.

Advertisement

Food prices in Abuja

In Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, a pack of spaghetti that sold for N850 two weeks ago now sells for N900 as of Friday.

Also, a bag of 50kg Nigerian rice sold at N65,000 two weeks ago now sells at N70,000.

A bag of sachet water is still selling at N500, and a sachet of water sells at N50.

A yam seller popularly known as Mama Goddy in Bwari Market, Abuja, said the high cost of transportation and scarcity of yam in the market had contributed to the increased cost of the produce.

Advertisement

She also narrated how difficult it was for her to afford a bag of local rice sold at N65,000 in February and wondered how she’d buy the same commodity now that it was selling for N70,000.

Ogun state

Speaking with one of our correspondents at Ibafo Market, Ogun State, a foodstuffs trader, who simply identified herself Mutiya, said the prices of foodstuffs had not come down.

According to her, a bag of rice sells for between N89,000 and N92,000 while a bag of drum beans still sold for N145,000 as against the former price of N40,000, which it sold last year.

ALSO READ  Reverend Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa lands in France to a warm, rousing welcome (Photo)

Also, a carton of Spaghetti was increased from N7,000 to N15,500.

Advertisement

Another foodstuffs wholesaler, Emma Azubike, lamented the continued increase in foodstuffs.

He said, “Nothing has changed my brother. In fact, the prices continue to increase. The problem is that where we buy from, they have not changed too; you cannot expect us to change.”

He further explained that the price 10kg of Semovita had not changed from the N14,500 it was sold in December, adding that a carton of Golden Penny noodles still sold for N6500.

A fish seller identified as Mary also lamented that the prices of fish had continued to soar.

She stated that as of January, a kilo of horse Mackerel (kote) fish was sold for between N2,800 and N3,000 but had now increased to between N3,500 and N4000; while Herring fish (shawa) was now sold for N2800 from its former price of N2500.

Advertisement

Similarly, a frozen foods trader, Akingbade, disclosed that the fall in the exchange rate of dollar to naira had yet to affect the prices of frozen foods in the market.

He explained that the price of a carton of chicken which was previously N30,000, was now sold between N45,000 to N50,000, while a kilogramme of the commodity sold for N2,800 now cost N5,000.

He further explained that a kilogramme of turkey which was previously N6,600 a few weeks ago, was now N7,500, as a carton had risen to N51,000 from the previous N30,000.

Our correspondent also gathered that the price of a bag of rice remained at N90,000 in different parts of the Ibafo market.

Lagos markets

Advertisement
ALSO READ  Tinubu’s lead excites investors, equities rally N467b in two days

In Lagos, Mrs Chisom Odochi, a businesswoman in Olufowobi, Ikosi, who sells rice and frozen foods, believes that food prices will remain high until after Ramadan.

She noted that while the value of the naira had weakened, it had not translated to lower market prices.

“A bag of local rice, which was priced at N75,000 just two weeks ago, has now surged to N90,000.

“Similarly, the cost of ‘Shawa’ fish, previously priced at N150 or N300, has skyrocketed to N700 or N800. Chicken now sells at N4,500 per kilo, up from N4,300 which it sold last week.”

Economists proffer solutions

Advertisement

Lending their voices on the situation, a renowned economic expert and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, described the situation as a “lag between when a policy action is taken and when the impact will be felt.”

He said, “What have been done are things that are being implemented within the last few weeks, especially around the foreign exchange which is very central to all these problems.

“Again, people who had items in stocks got them at a very high price, and until they begin to restock at a cheaper rate, they cannot sell what they bought at a higher price for a lower price. So there is a transition for the effect of the policies to manifest.”

Another economist at Sankore Investment Limited, Jonathan Thomas, said the prices of commodities proved difficult to change because of human behaviour and natural economic principles.

He said, “Another reason could be market distortions. Prices are determined by the equilibrium interaction of demand and supply and that is how prices in the market are determined.”

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Chinese chamber denies barring Nigerian shoppers from Abuja supermarket

Published

on

The China General Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria has given insight into the operation of a Chinese supermarket within the premises of the Royal Choice Estate, Airport Road, Abuja.

Theheute reports that the Abuja-based Chinese supermarket had come under criticism for refusing to allow Nigerians to shop in its facility.

The supermarket situated at the China General Chamber of Commerce, along Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Road in Abuja, is acclaimed as a destination for Chinese cuisine and beverages.

Nigerians had expressed outrage over a discriminatory policy implemented by the Chinese Supermarket, which restricted entry exclusively to its citizens and barred Nigerians.

Advertisement

But After Theheute reports, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission sealed the supermarket.

The FCCPC officials shut the supermarket when they stormed the premises on Monday. The commission’s officials sealed up the place after interrogating Nigerian workers at the supermarket.

But reacting to the alleged discrimination in a statement by its Secretary, Mr. Cui Guangzheng, the China Chamber of Commerce explained that the estate housing both the supermarket and the commerce building was not entirely a supermarket.

He clarified that the Royal Choice Estate comprises an office complex and residential apartments.

According to the statement, the residential area of the estate consists of private residents who adhere to security protocols in granting access to external visitors.

Advertisement

“The China Chamber of Commerce is one of several enterprises using the facility, and the supermarket in question is located in the residential area of the estate, which is unrelated to the China Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria,” the statement read.

ALSO READ  Reverend Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa lands in France to a warm, rousing welcome (Photo)

It added, “No individual was subjected to discrimination or denied access to the estate or supermarket to purchase groceries as widely believed.

“The China General Chamber of Commerce emphasized its commitment to equality and inclusiveness and welcomed first-hand visits to witness the truth.

“Our principles are to enhance friendship between the people of both countries and promote economic development.”

The chamber expressed regret over the altercation at the estate’s entrance gate between the security personnel and a customer, emphasizing that it does not reflect the official position of the estate management or the chamber of commerce.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Business

FG to execute $3.8bn gas supply agreement in May

Published

on

The Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement to support the Final Investment Decision for the $3.8bn Brass methanol project is to be executed in May 2024, the Federal Government announced on Monday.

The Brass methanol project is a major industrial project being built in Bayelsa State to produce methanol, a key industrial chemical, using natural gas resources. Nigeria currently imports all its methanol.

Located in Brass Island, Bayelsa, the facility is to have a capacity of 10,000 tonnes of methanol per day when completed, as it is still under construction and expected to be operational this year.

The $3.8bn is to create up to 15,000 jobs during construction and aims to boost the Nigerian economy by reducing reliance on imports.

Advertisement

This project is a joint venture between DSV Engineering Limited, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, and the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, announced the execution date for the gas supply agreement in Abuja on Wednesday after a meeting with key stakeholders of the project in his office.

Ekpo, in a statement issued by his media aide, Louis Ibah, said the meeting was to confirm adequate gas supply to the Brass methanol project by the NNPC/Shell/TotalEnergies/NAOC Joint Venture.

He said the meeting was to also determine the next steps to conclude and execute the GSPA and mature the phase-2 of gas supply to the project.

Present at the meeting were the Head of Joint Venture, Investment Management, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, Mr Olanrewaju Igandan; and Deputy Managing Director, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Mr Richard Orianzi.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  LASAA, EXMAN strengthen collaboration for mutual growth

Others include the Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor; Managing Director of Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical Ltd, Mr Ben Okoye, among others.

Ekpo informed the gathering of President Bola Tinubu’s strong interest in resolving issues relating to gas supply to the Brass methanol project.

According to the Minister, the President was passionate about the speedy kick-off of the project so that it could bring in the much needed Foreign Direct Iinvestment with attendant economic benefits to the country.

“Mr President is very passionate about this project and wants something positive to happen in respect of the Brass methanol project before the end of May this year,” Ekpo said.

The Brass methanol project is sponsored by Brass Fertiliser & Petrochemical Company Limited and it is made up of a gas processing plant, a methanol production and refining plant, product export facilities, among others.

Advertisement

At the end of the meeting, Ekpo announced he had successfully resolved the GSPA issue and that it would be executed by May this year.

“The NNPC/SPDC JV partners are now fully committed to uninterrupted gas supply for the development of the Brass methanol project,” the gas minister stated.

Continue Reading

Business

Naira continues recovery, gains 7.2% against dollar

Published

on

The exchange rate of Nigeria’s currency, the Naira has continued to appreciate to the dollar in response to the fiscal and monetary policies of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

According to data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), on Friday revealed that the Naira gained N88.23.

This represents a 7.16 per cent gain when compared to the previous trading date on Monday, April 8, exchanging at N1,230.61 to a dollar before the Sallah holiday.

The huge appreciation resulted in the Naira trading at N1,142.38 to the dollar at the official market

Advertisement

The total daily turnover increased to $281.34 million on Friday up from $125.55 million recorded on Monday.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,265 and N1,100 against the dollar.

Experts attribute the steady Naira appreciation to the policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The CBN, during its policy meetings held in February and March, implemented a total of 600 basis points in interest rate increases.

This helped tackle dollar scarcity, reduced volatility, and decreased reliance on parallel markets.

Advertisement

ALSO READ  Jose Mourinho shuts down rumours that Afena-Gyan injured Wijnaldum in training
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 TheHeute.