As Nigerians prepare for what is left of their Christmas, prices of goods and services have soared in major markets in Osun State and the people are not smiling.

A market survey conducted by the Bounce News in Ile-Ife, showed that the hike is primarily caused by high cost of transportation, occasioned by the ongoing fuel scarcity across the country.

Mrs Munirat Salami at Fowobake Market, expressed dissatisfaction with the level of sales, attributing the low patronage to the economy, saying it had taken a negative turn on consumers.

“The increase in the prices of foodstuffs is a tradition in every Yuletide, but people still buy what they need if money is available.

“But now things are hard, traders spend a lot of money on transport and after sales, we make little profits,” she lamented.

Salami said the prices of five tubers of yam which used to be between N800 to N2,500, now range from N1,200 to N3,500.

A condiment seller at Oja-tuntun Market, Mrs Bolatito Afolabi, said that the cost of transporting the perishable goods “is so high” and this had affected her business and patronage negatively.

Afolabi said that a basket of big tomatoes for some weeks was selling for N14,000 from N9,000, while a small basket was going for N11,000 as against N8,000 previously.

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She said that the same was applicable to other perishable goods such as long pepper or sombo that increased to N14,000 from N7,000.

According to her, the other species of pepper such as tatase and rodo have only marginally increased in their prices.

Mrs Bisi Awosunle, who sells live chicken and turkey at Itakogun Market, disclosed that even before Christmas, the prices of animal feeds were unbearable.

“If not that I am used to the business, I would have just stopped for now, but I have no choice than to manage myself with the situation on ground,” she said.

Awosunle said that the price of broiler chicken ranges from N2,500 to N4,500, while cockerel chicken rose from N2,500 to N3,800.

He added that turkey was now told for between N3, 500 and N10,000 depending on the size.

Also, Mr Ngozi Emeka, a foodstuff seller, said that the price of rice had been somewhat stable, adding that a bag of Falcon rice was now N14,800 from N14, 300.

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Emeka said that African King Rice rose to N14,500 from N13,000, while Royal Rice, Kadran Rice and REF Rice remained at N13,500

He said that a bag of oloyin or sweet beans had gone up to N35,000 from N25,000, while drum beans now sold for N32,000 from N28,000.

However, the price of yam flour has drastically come down from N100,000 for a big bag to N65, 000, while the small bag which sold for N85,000 is down to N55,000.

Trekking Citizens

Meanwhile, in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, the agony of celebrating another yuletide with fuel scarcity has its mark all over the city, from deserted motorways to high product prices.

Residents have resorted to trekking, even at a long distance due to the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit also known as Petrol and the high rate of transport fares.

This is because of the nationwide scarcity of petrol which goes between N150 and 250 in some parts of the ancient city.

Going round the city, it was observed that hundreds of people were trekking long distance due to scarcity of vehicles and commercial motorcycles in many parts of the city making frantic efforts to get things for their Christmas celebration.

Many bus stops within the city are currently flooded with commuters who were stranded as they waited endlessly to no avail.

Transport fare that goes for N50 from Estate to Olaiya is now between 100 and 150. The one from Olaiya to Ojaoba is now N150-N200 instead of N50.

This, according to some of them, made those who can trek to resort to such in areas such as Olaiya, Estate, Ogo Oluwa, among others.  

Many filling stations that were partially selling the product as at Tuesday and Wednesday are now under lock and key when our Bounce News visited them on Friday and Saturday while those that were selling were doing so between 150 and 250.