By Abigael Joshua
Prices of food items have continued to rise in Bwari, FCT, amidst the fuel and naira scarcity, leaving residents groaning under intense hardships.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who spoke with the residents on Friday, gathered that prices of foodstuff have continued to rise unabated as against the drop in prices in states and rural areas.
Mrs Talatu Danjuma, a tomato seller at the Bwari market, said that the price of the commodity had gone higher within a short period.
“A basket now sells for N16,000 as against N5000 and N6000,” she said.
Danjuma attributed the hike to the high cost of transporting goods from the farms, as a result of the fuel scarcity.
Mrs Blessing Yohanna, a yam seller, on the other hand, expressed worry that the naira scarcity was affecting her business as most of the transactions were now cashless, and traders in the rural areas would not accept electronic transfers.
“About N30,000 of my money is still hanging due to network issues surrounding transfers.
“Five tubers of yams which we used to sell for N2,500, now goes for N3000 because we have to include POS (Point of Sale) charges,” Yohanna said.
Another resident, Mr Philip Abang, condemned the exorbitant charges by the POS operators, describing it as “outrageous”.
“Queues are on the increase daily in banks and filling stations, situations that are seriously affecting businesses.
“I thought the Supreme Court’s pronouncement on the return of the old notes of N500 and N1,000 was going to alleviate our plight this country.
“It is unfortunate that people are still rejecting the old notes and the new money is not in circulation up till now,” Abang said.
He therefore, appealed to the Federal Government, to take urgent steps aimed at tackling the challenges, with a view to saving the masses.
“I have to be at the bank by 4: 00 a.m., to pick a number, in order to get cash, it is that bad,” Abang said.
A survey by NAN also revealed that the prices of foodstuff generally have gone a little higher or remain static, as a bottle of palm oil which sold for N100, now sells for N1200.
A bag of rice however, still sells for between N37,000, and N45,000 depending on the brand, or if it is local or foreign.
A cup of egusi (melon), now sells for N400 instead of N300, and a crate of eggs is now N2500 as against N2200, and a kilo of beef now goes for as much as N3500.