By Jean Ambele
Abuja – Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday said that they were alarmed by the sudden increase in commodity prices that occurred within the first week of the New Year.
The residents, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), explained that various commodities sold in supermarkets, conventional markets and online stores had increased astronomically since commencement of the New Year.
Mr Bolu Jake, an elementary school teacher, said that he noticed the sudden increase in commodities on “the first day of January 2017’’.
“I was looking for a new phone to purchase and I kept checking online stores, but decided that I would purchase the phone after the New Year because I expected the prices to fall.
“To my surprise, online stores like Jumia and Konga increased their phone prices by at least N5,000.
“I checked markets and supermarkets for the same and noticed an increase as well, I am highly disappointed,’’ he said.
Victoria Akpan, a house wife, told NAN that the increase in market prices was really alarming.
“I am saddened by the fact that the price of things like beef, milk, toiletries and other basic household needs had increased as the clock struck midnight for 2017.
“Even some commodities like sardines, eggs and Milo that were still at a normal price by the second day of the year had increased by January 7.
“The economy is hard so these traders should have waited for people to settle into the New Year before shocking us with the increase in prices’’.
Mrs Tolu Olusemire, a marketer, told NAN that the rate of inflation was outrageous, and stressed the need for the government to control it.
“It is amazing how prices of goods and services inflate every year for absolutely no reason.
“In other countries, commodity prices increase slowly and at a very low rate causing a commodity to have a similar price for five years and more.
“In Nigeria, a commodity price can increase by twice the expected value in just a year and this is not right, government should do something and find a way to regulate inflation rate.
Mrs Ohita Osase, a trader, said that the poor performance of the economy had created the need for traders to increase prices to ensure the survival of their businesses.
“I honestly felt bad that I had to increase the price of my goods again during the celebratory season, but people have to understand that the poor economy affects our livelihood too.
“As a trader, I have to ensure that I have relevant goods in stock and since most of them are imported, the poor exchange rate causes me to spend more naira than usual.
“Spending that amount of naira causes me to increase my prices accordingly so that I can make up for the extra money I spent to purchase the goods and have enough money to purchase more when out of stock.
“This is the only way my business can survive right now.”