From Vikky Uba, Abuja
Many Nigerians have expressed worry over the constant increase in the prices of foodstuff in the country. The worst hit are low income earners, security guards, fuel attendants, kiosk owners, whose incomes have stagnated or even become irregular in many cases.
As prices rise, unemployment, and under-employment continue to increase. Factory wind-up is no longer news, and micro businesses are recording hard times.
Stakeholders have expressed concerns about the country’s mounting inflationary pressure on household incomes, citing the need to address factors before it becomes unsustainable.
Inflation in the country hit a four-year peak in April, 2021, as food prices jumped more than 20 percent, heaping financial pressure on households already faced with a shrinking stream of income.
Inflation, in double digits since 2016, reached 18.17% percent, driven by the impact of a coronavirus epidemic that has also induced a drop in the price of oil, Nigeria’s main export, and weakened the naira currency. Some Nigerians shared their struggles with the rising inflation with the Sun News.
Edith Manyora, a black market petrol trader in Abuja said that the rising cost of living has greatly affected her children’s education, as they have had to choose between food and school.
She said, “It’s like nobody is hearing our cry. Nobody is talking to us on why things are getting this expensive and if the country will get better. My children have to eat before we talk about school. If there’s food in their belly then they can pay attention in class”.
At the popular food markets in Garki and Lugbe in Abuja, traders and customers are unhappy about the soaring prices.
“You come to the market, just like the way you saw me pricing things, you no longer get them the same way we used to buy again. Even them themselves they keep complaining, they buy it very costly”, said Frances Moses, a private sector worker.
With Nigeria depending on food import for a tenth of its food needs, border closures and restrictions on movement have also affected the availability of food in the markets.
Food Insecurity is another factor that heightens the prices of foodstuff in the country. With the constant farmer/ herder clashes, more farmers are skeptical about returning o their farms.