As Christians celebrate this year’s Easter, prices of commodities have skyrocketed in most markets in Calabar, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
A market survey conducted by NAN revealed that the prices of frozen foods which showed marginal increase during the Christmas celebrations have further increased beyond the reach of average Nigerians.
Some commodities that have witnessed noticeable increases include rice, chicken, beef, tomatoes, groundnut oil, palm oil, pepper, yams, onions and potatoes.
At the Marian market, a bag of rice which initially sold for between N9,500 and N10,000 now costs N12,000 and N12,500, depending on the brand.
A big basket of tomatoes now sells for between N5,500 and N6,000 as against N4,000 and N4, 500, while a bag of big pepper which previously sold for N2,500 now costs N3,200.
Similarly, a 20-litre jerry can of palm oil which sold for N3,500 at the beginning of January now costs about N4,500.
Also at the Watts market, a carton of turkey which was sold between N9,000 and N9,700 now costs N10,000 and N11,000, while a carton of chicken previously sold at N7,500 and N8,000 now goes for N8,500 and N9,000.
Mrs Roseline Attah, one of the traders at Watts Market, observed that the demand for chicken and other foodstuffs was usually high during festive periods.
“We are all witnesses of the high increase of food items and feeds in the market. A bag of chicken feed has risen from N3,700 to N4,500.
“We have to increase the price of the chicken in order to reflect the cost of buying items,’’ she said.
A consumer, Mr Ibe Uche, lamented that the current increase in price was a deliberate effort by traders to make life more difficult for the people.
“Traders have made it a normal ritual that whenever festive season approaches, they would increase the prices of food items.
“We all know that the exchange rate have gone high. But, traders should not use that opportunity and hike the prices of food items,’’ he said.
Mrs Beauty Okon, a civil servant, urged traders to look at the state of the country’s economy before hiking the prices of food items.
“Nobody is asking them not to hike the prices of food items, but they should be considerate because the hike is affecting the common man out there,’’ she said. (NAN)