Lockdown: FCT residents in last-minute shopping rush amid price hike

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Monday came in large numbers to various markets and malls for last-minute shopping to beat the 11.00 p.m. deadline for lockdown ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president announced the cessation of movements for 14 days with effect from 11.00 p.m. on Monday in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states over the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement came in his first nationwide radio and television broadcast on Sunday evening to Nigerians since the outbreak where he explained that the containment period will be used to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases.

Tribune Online’s finding in Abuja on Monday showed residents trooping to different markets and shopping malls to stock food items and other necessities they will use during the lockdown.

Sahad Stores in Central Business District was filled with shoppers who were seen filling their carts with essentials commodities.

It was as the same thing at Cedi Plaza also at the Central Business District and the Wuse Zone 5 branch of Shoprite.

The Tuesday’s market in Orozo was filled with people even though it was not the market’s day as residents purchased vitals items to survive on before the lockdown is lifted.

Kurudu and Karu markets were similarly bustling with buyers and sellers, causing traffic snarl in the surrounding areas.

Customers, however, found that the prices of almost every consumable had increased as traders took advantage of the rush to increase their costs.

A tuber of yam that was N300 a few days ago has risen to N500 while a measure of gari that was N150 has risen to N250.

Even sachet water popularly known as “pure water” was increased to N15 from N10 under 24 hours.

Tribune Online also found several bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) crammed with people trying to withdraw some cash.

The Karu branch of Fidelity Bank was filled with customers spilling onto the busy Nyanya-Karshi road where it is located with little or no regard for the prescribed social distancing to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

It was also discovered that operators of point of purchase (POS) centres in parts of the city have increased their charges from N200 to N400 per transaction of N10,000 and below.

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