FOLLOWING the economic downturn the country has found itself, prices of commodities have continued to skyrocket in various markets across the country, leaving Nigerians in harrowing pains as they struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis.
This hardship has not exempted the aviation sector, with the volume of air travellers greatly reduced due to high cost of travels; even the prices of imported goods have soared geometrically, as importation business witnessed a 60 per cent slump across the nation’s borders and seaports.
Investigations conducted across the country to know the prices of commodities and the extent to which the situation is biting, revealed how unbearable life has become for Nigerians.
In Lagos for example, a bag of rice, which used to sell for N8,000 now sells for N14,200, while a bag of gari moved from N4,500 to N7,000.
A buyer now needs a sum of N11,000 to purchase a keg of palm oil, which merely sold for N5,500 about two months ago, whereas a keg of groundnut oil that used to sell for N6,500 now goes for N11,000.
A pack of indomie now goes for N1,900 as against N1,400. A sachet of tomato paste has gone from N40 to N70, nearly a 100 per cent increase.
While a packet of Saint Louis Sugar goes for N220 from N120 and N350 at other markets.
Also, a pack of Coca-Cola drink, containing 12 bottles (60cl) goes for N1,100 as against N900 it sold for. A pack of Mirinda drink costs N1,000; it sold at between N800 and N850.
For a 24-pack of can Malta Guinness, the price now is N2,500 from N2,250.
A park of Chivita drink containing 10 pieces goes for N2,600. It sold for just N2,250 not quite long ago. 5Alive pack now goes for N2,400 as against N2,150.
A tin of Peak Milk is now N150, whereas the price was between N100 and N120. For a tin of Crown Milk, the price is N130 against N80 or N100 per tin.
A tin of Nan baby food now goes for N2,100 from N1,300.
The price of a small basket of pepper (rodo) has now jumped from N500 to N1,000, while the price of a small basket of fresh tomatoes has risen to N3,500 from a paltry N800.
In respect of kerosene, four litres of the commodity now sells for N1,150 from N750. Cooking gas now goes for N3,700 to fill a 12.5cl cylinder, whereas it sold for just for N2,500 about three months ago while 50cl cylinder sells for N14,800.
A bag of pure water that used to sell for N70 is now N120 at Egbeda, whereas at Isheri, in Magodo area, it is N150.
For a bag of cement, the price goes for N2,300 from N1,900.
In another section of Lagos, 50 litres of diesel, which was N13,500 now goes for N16,000; bag of rice N9-N10,000, now N18,000; Yam flour (Gallon) N2,000, now N4,000; Gari (Gallon) N1,000, now N2,000; Gas 6kg N1,100, now N1,700; Beans DeRica tin N150, now N250; empty gas cylinder 6kg N5,000, now N8,500; Loaves of bread N 80-N150, now N120-N200; Dano Milk satchet 15g N20, now N25; Close Up toothpaste 140g N160, now N220; Shaving stick N40, now N70; Palm oil 1 litre N170, now N350-N400; Vegetable oil 1 litre N180, now N400; Exercise book 40 leaves N40, now N60; Bic Biro N20, now N30.
Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi
In Enugu State, cost of commodities has continued to rise. A bag of local rice is N20,000 while foreign rice is N25,000 against the old rate of N15,000 and N20 ,000, respectively. A bag of cement which was sold between N1,800 and N2,000 now N2,300. A bag of gari is sold at N5,500 from N3,500.
A printer, Osita Orji, also said cost of printing materials had risen by over 100 per cent. According to him, prices of printing papers, cost of impression and lithographic plates have risen.
“We use to do the lithographic plate at N500, now N650 to N750. 60gsm of bond papers went from N1,600 to N3,600.
In Ebonyi State, a bag of rice is sold at N20,000 against N7,000 last year.
In Imo State, a bag of local rice is sold at N26,000 against the old price of N20,000. Foreign bag of rice is sold between N27,000 and N28,000 depending on the quality of the stuff. The cost of cement is N2,300 instead of old price of N2,000.
In Awka, a bag of cement is N2,300 against the old price of N2,000.
In Abia State, a bag of gari is sold at N6,000 against old price of N4,000.
Visit to Modern Market and Shinge Market in Lafia metropolis revealed that there is a 100 per cent increase in the prices of goods and services in the state.
A bag of rice sold at N9000, now sells for N19,000, while vegetable oil formerly sold at N1,700 against its present price of N2,700.
A crate of Maltina was formerly sold at N2,400, but now sells for N2,700,while a crate of Coca Cola which was sold at N1,300 is now N1,500.
A bunch of plantain which was sold for N2,000 is now sold for N4,000, while a bag of cement sells for N2,400 against N1,300.
A mature ram now sells for N20,000 against the former price of N10,000.
In Oyo State, a bag of rice rose from N9,000 to N18,000; a bowl of Gari rose from N150 to N300; palm oil increased from N200 per bottle to N300; vegetable oil from N250 to N400 per bottle; Salt rose from N50-N70 to N160.
Yam flour from N2000 N3000.
In Ekiti State, prices of commodities and services have soared. Rechargeable torch small size N200, now N400; Big size N300/350 now N600/N650; Cement N1,600/50kg bag now N2,300/50kg bag; Transportation fare N50/taxi drop, now N70 per drop; haircut N200/300, now N250/350 (children/adult); Bread: Small loaf: N50 now N70; Medium loaf: N70 now N100, Large loaf: N100 now N120, Sliced: N250 now N300; Sachet water: Bag: N120 now N150, Sachet: N5 now N10; Garri Congo N100, now N160-N200; Rice Congo: Large grains N300 now N650, Small grains N250 now N600; Edible Oil: Palm 1.5 litres N180/200 now N300, 5litres: N1,000/1,200 now N1,700/2,000; Vegetable oil: 1.5 litres N200 now N400; Beans: N250 now N450; Frozen Fish: Medium size ‘Titus’ N200 now N300; Meat N1,000/N1,200 per kilogramme.
In Kogi State, a bag of rice is now N18,000, cement now goes for N2,300; 10 kilogrammes of semovita N2, 800; four litres of palm oil now N2,000; four litres of vegetable oil N2,000; a bag of sachet water N120 and a bottle of coke drink N80.
Prices of commodities at Mile 1 Market, Ikwerre Road, Port Harcourt are as follow: Maltina (crate) N2,150, now N2,400; Vegetable oil (5litres) N2,500 now N3,200; Plantain (bunch) N1,800 now N2,500; Coke (crate) N950 now N1,200 ; Rice (50kg bag) N18,000 now sells for N22,000; Cement (50kg bag) N1,300, now N1,600.
In Ogun State, a bag of rice goes for N14,000 and N14,500 as against N11,500 and N12,000; Congo of Gari now N200 from old price of N100; a packet of Indomie noodles now N1700 for small carton as against N1500; a bag of cement now N2,300, formerly N1,500; a sachet of spaghetti now N200 from N130/N140, while a loaf of bread rose from N70 to N100.
Inter-city transport fare increased by 20 per cent; Intra-state transport fare by 25 per cent and inter-state transport fare by 30 per cent.
In Kwara markets, a medium size ram which sold between N25,000 and N30,000 about this time last year is now sold between N35,000 and N50,000.
A bag of rice is now N20,000 as against N16,500 and N17,000, while a bowl is N570 as against N500 some few days ago; bag of beans previously bought at N17,000 and N16,000 is now N22,000, while price of a measure of beans has increased from N220 and N250-N400.
A 25-litre keg of palm oil was between N10,500 and N11, 000, now N12,000; a 25-litre keg of groundnut oil is now sold for N12,500; bottle of palm oil sold for N200 is now N350, while a bottle of vegetable oil previously sold at N220 is now N400; a 10kg of semovita is now sold at N2,500 as against N1,800 and N1500.
A bowl of guinea corn is now N300 as against N120; a bag of granulated sugar is now N15,000 as against price range of N6,000-N12,000; a bowl of granulated sugar is N500 as against N300.
A crate of egg now sells between N750 and N800 as against previous price of N650.
In Osun State, prices of food items, goods and commodities have increased tremendously.
Rice (per measure) N300 now N700; Beans N280 now N400; Gari N100 now N300; small loaf of bread N70 now N100; Pure Water (Bag) N70 now N120; a crate of eggs N600 now N850; Semovita 1kg N280 now N350; Vegetable oil 25 litres N5,800 now N9,500; a bag of cement N1,550 now goes for N1,800 and a sachet of salt N50 now N70.
Checks at popular Igbudu market, a major foodstuff market in the heart of Warri on Wednesday, revealed that a basket of tomatoes that used to sell for N8,000 now sells for N10,000.
Iced fish moved from N12, 500 to N22, 000 and frozen chicken from N6,500 to N12, 000.
Staple foods like garri, rice, beans increased by 71 per cent (from N3,500 to N6, 000) per basin; rice by 147 per cent (from N8,500 to N22, 000) per bag; and beans, 82 per cent (from N11, 000 to N20, 000).
Noodles such as Indomie (Super Pack Indomie and Chikki Chikki) now goes for N2,600 and N2,050 per carton, respectively.
Refill packs of beverages such as Peak milk and Bournvita have gone up by six and 11 per cent per carton, as the former had moved from N9, 800 to N10, 400 and the latter from N8, 500 to N9, 400.
20 litres of groundnut and 25 litres of palm oils have moved from N3, 600 to N7, 600 and N5, 500 to N12, 000, respectively.
A crate of eggs goes for N750 as against N700; big loaf of bread goes for N420 as against N380.
Similarly, a carton of canned Maltina drink sells for N2,600 from N2,200.
However, price of a bag of Dangote cement remains at N1,650.
A visit to the markets across the state capital city of Ondo, Akure, showed that the prices of food items like rice, beans, gari, palm oil, beverages have gone up with a percentage increase of between 150 and 300.
At the popular Neighborhood Market in Isinkan, Akure, it was discovered that a bag of rice has moved from N8,500 to N19,000, while a bowl of rice sold at N280 now sells for N750. The price of beans has moved up from N300/ N350 to N600 for the brown beans, while the white beans specie has become the toast of the market at N400 per bowl; a bowl of gari N80 now N210/ N220.
Palm oil was sold for N2,000 as against the former price of N1,100, while vegetable oil formerly offered at N1,950 went for N3,800/N4,000; Semovita N1,200 now N2,000, while the big pack is also selling at N2,800 from N1,800.
Also, a kilogramme of meat and turkey sold at N800 now N1,400, while price of fish varies in the market.
A bag of cement sold for N1,650 is now N2,460; kerosene rose from N60 per litre to N140, while a 12.5 kilogramme of gas is sold for N4,000 against N2,800.
The food items that are cheap in the Akure market now are yam and pepper. One of the consumers attributed this to the season, saying “this is yam period and most home grown yam.
Checks in Edo State showed that a bag of cement is now being sold for about N2,400, while a bag of rice goes for N23,000.
The price of a small tuber of yam has gone from about N250 to N400.
Findings showed that a small bowl of garri has moved to about N600 from the previous price of N250 a few months ago.
As for beans, a small bowl now sells for N1,300 from the previous N700 price.
Mobile sedan car oil now N4,500 from N3,500; Cement N2,300 from N1,600; small bowl of gari N350 from N250 and Chinos trousers N4,000 from N3,000.
While the domestic airlines have not increased fares, air passengers have shifted patronage to road transportation due to economic hardship.
But foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have been forced to hike their fares by over 50 per cent because of the new forex policy earlier introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Many Nigerian passengers who could not afford the fares being charged between Nigeria and the foreign routes have equally shifted their patronage to Accra, Ghana, where fares are relatively cheaper.
Investigation carried out by the Nigerian Tribune showed that fare between Nigeria and Ghana which used to be N40,000 has gone up to around N80,000.
Economy class on the Lagos/America route that used to cost around N350,000 and N400, 000 has gone as high as N600,000 and N700,000, while the Lagos/London route has gone from the usual N250,000 to almost N400,000.
The hardship which has sent many domestic airlines gasping for breath, leading to sudden suspension of operations by one of the oldest domestic carriers, Aero Contractors on Wednesday.
Prior now, domestic airline business in the country was impressive, with each of the airlines being able to carry its own substantial numbers of passengers until the coming of the Muhammadu Buhari-led government, when things have got out of control.
The airlines are accusing the government of not making dollar available for them to carry out their operations.
At present, airlines particularly the domestic ones are operating under excruciating pains made possible by various reasons ranging from unstable and scarcity of foreign exchange, high cost of aviation fuel to non-availability of the commodity.
Confirming this, the chairman of Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON), Captain Nogie Megisson declared: “In spite of all these, we can’t increase ticket prices in order not to discourage our customers that have been seriously stretched due to the economic hard times facing them and their disposable income seriously reduced or erased.
“For most of them now, the alternative means of travel is going by road; our major competitor. It should be put on record, however, that road transport uses Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, which is highly supported or assisted by the Federal Government with exchange rate of N285 and available to marketers. Airlines on the other hand don’t have such foreign exchange support or availability from our government with regards to helping to make Jet fuel available to airlines at an affordable price.
“PMS forex allocation is being given regularly to importers at N285 to the dollar, and the road transporters don’t pay five per cent VAT or the Regulatory five per cent Ticket Sales Tax or any of the other multiple taxes being charged to the airlines today, where as much as 35 per cent of a total ticket price are taxes and levies.”
Raising the alarm over the situation, Captain Megisson has alerted that the feasibility studies and financial projections carried out are a great threat, putting the airlines in a dangerous and difficult financial position.
According to Megisson, “till April this year, I bought Jet A1 fuel for N105 a litre. About a month ago, the price jumped to N145. Two weeks later, it rose to about N200 a litre. Today, the price has skyrocketed to above N200 a litre. This has greatly increased our operational cost.
The Airline Operators are calling on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, address the acute shortage of Jet fuel the country had been experiencing, which they said have led to 50 per cent delays or cancellation of flights.
Even before now, two of the foreign airlines operating into Nigeria, Iberia and United Airlines had earlier in the year stopped operations into the country over hardship faced in Nigeria.
Besides, many of the remaining foreign carriers had reduced their frequencies in the country and increased their operations in other African countries, particularly Ghana.
Investigations have revealed that the prices of imported goods have skyrocketed, even as importation business has witnessed a 60 per cent slump across the nation’s borders and seaports.
According to a marketing survey carried out by the Nigerian Tribune at the nations seaports and border points, cost of tiles being imported into the country, vehicles and bags of rice have gone up astronomically.
Prior before the recession, a Volkswagen Golf 1 went for between N500,000 to N600,000, now N1.3 million. According to the spokesman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto, while speaking with the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, the N1.3 million price for the Volkswagen Golf is only applicable for car dealers who are still selling old stock.
In his words, “that price you got is for people with old stock. Volkswagen Golf 1 now goes for about N1.5 million.
“For tiles that are being sold per square metre; before the recession, 100 square metre of tiles was selling for between N66,000 and N80,000, now between N300,000 and N250,000. Importation has gone down to an all time low of 60 per cent.”
When Nigerian Tribune visited the Seme border in-between Nigeria and the Benin Republic, there was no difference between the skyrocketing prices of goods as one Benin Republic CFA, which used to exchange for N150 now goes for one CFA to N681.
A bag of rice in Seme is N12,000, while the same commodity sells for N20,000 at the Eastern part of the country.