Some residents of Nasarawa State have decried the spike in the prices of food items in the market over partial lockdown in the state in order to curtail the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Some of the residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews on Thursday in Keffi that the increase in the prices of goods have created more hardship to them.
They called on traders not to take advantage of the partial lockdown in the state to increase the prices of commodities in order to cushion the effect of the lockdown.
Mrs Litini Luka, a resident of Keffi, said: “It is unfortunate that in Nigeria, people take advantage of some situations to cause hardship on the people.
“Just because of partial lockdown and directive by the government that people should stay at home over Coronavirus, traders took the advantage by increasing the prices of goods in the market.
“Before COVID-19 directive by govrnment, a measure of local rice which is previously sold at between N300 and N350 is now sold about N450 and a measure of maize which previously sold at N120 to N130 is now sold between N160 and N170, while a bag of maize is now sold at N16,000 to N17,000 instead of N12,000 per bag.
“A measure of Garri which was previously sold at N120 is now sold at N200 per measure.
“You can see, we are facing the hardship created by Coronavirus and traders again are creating more hardship to us by increasing the prices of goods in the market; it is unfortunate,” she said.
She called on the government to regulate the prices of food items in the market in order to improve on the living standard of the people and for the overall development of the country.
Another resident, Mallam Abubakar Isah, called on the traders to have the fear of God in their trade.
“Just imagine the prices of maize, rice, garri and beans, among others, had gone up. A measure of beans previously sold at N170 is now sold between N200 and N250 per measure; where are we going?
“I want to use this medium to plead with traders to consider what Nigerians are going through at the moment, ” he said
Mr Thomas Bulus lamented over unnecessary hike in the prices of goods in the market and called on government to regulate their prices.
“The present situation in the country is uncalled for as the prices of almost all commodities have increased in the market. There is need for the Federal Government to checkmate as well as regulate the prices of goods in the market,” he said.
Mrs Hauwa Isah also expressed dismay over the soaring prices of goods in the market.
“We are facing COVID-19 problem and traders are taking advantage of lockdown directive which is not good at all. It is adding more hardship to people,” she said.
However, most of the traders interviewed attributed the increase in the prices of commodities to transportation and scarcity of the products because of the restriction in movement order. (NAN)