COVID-19: Lagosians groan as prices of foodstuffs, rent soar

RESIDENTS of Lagos State may have to devise ingenious means of grappling with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as galloping inflation hits practically everything needed for daily survival in the state of excellence, especially prices of foodstuffs.

Tribune Online market survey in Lagos confirmed the soar-away inflation in the prices of foodstuffs and other households items, with everyday foodstuffs like rice, beans, gaari (both white and yellow), palm oil, vegetable, yam flour and tubers of yam,  recording significant price increase.

A bucket of beans hitherto selling for N850 at Ketu market has jumped to N1, 100, while the same measure for rice witnessed an additional N200. A medium-size water bottle measure of red oil selling for N350 weeks back is now N500,  while a bucket of yam-flour is now N2, 100 from N1, 900. Gaari of same measure, added N100, to its price of weeks back.

A kilogramme of frozen gizzard moved from N1, 600 to N1, 800, before shedding N100, which a seller said would return in weeks ahead due to the sustained fall of naira against the United States dollar. A pepper seller at Ketu market blamed the additional cost on the now-lifted ban placed on interstate movement, which kept her suppliers from the  North away.

She lamented that tomatoes grown in the southern part of the country are only available for about two months in a  whole year, July and August. Speaking to Sunday Tribune, a trader in the Iyana- Ipaja area, Mrs Yetunde Adeyemo lamented the drop in sales due to the pandemic.

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She equally complained of the difficulty in adjusting to the alternating market days in a week as designed by the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu. Lukman Ajao said that A 50-kilogramme bag of rice he used to buy for N16, 000 is now pegged at N22,000.

“I cannot buy much as well due to the fact that people buying are few and this sometimes puts me in debt and the one- day on and one-day off arrangement is also having a negative impact on us,” Lukmon noted.  At Mile 12 Market in Lagos State, a bag of sugar moved from N10, 300 to 18,500, a bag of flour, from N10,300 to N12, 800, a bag of salt, from  N2,800 to N4,200 and a bag of rice, from N23, 000 to N30,000.

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Rent payment for residential accommodation also witnessed various sizes of jump, despite the pandemic. Regular two-bedroom apartment in Ikosi Ketu which used to be between N450,000 and a half of million naira is now N600,000 at a minimum and N750,000 maximum.

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