Nigeria: Religious Leaders, Activists Express Concern On High Prices Of Foodstuff

Winifred Bulus

Religious leaders and activists in Nigeria have expressed concern with the high prices of commodities, goods and services, calling on government to immediately intervene to safe the ugly situation.                               

They observed that despite the continuous daily appreciation of naira over the foreign currencies in Nigeria, traders seem to be taking  advantage of consumers, refusing to reduce price of commodities, goods and services in the country, making life extremely difficult for the ordinary citizens in both rural and urban parts of the country.

Comrade Ramatu Tijjani, a peace activist from Northern Nigeria, in an interview with the newsmen shortly after visiting some local markets in some parts of the region confirmed that majority of traders have failed to reduce the prices of commodities, goods and services, even when there was a fall in the value of foreign currency in the country.

Ramatu said, “It is surprising to see that despite the continuous devaluation of dollar below 400 naira, the prices of foodstuff, building materials, various commodities, livestock, spare parts of vehicles , and other social services  still remain high without any reduction.”

She added that many Nigerians, especially the masses, the unemployed, less privileged, widows, street destitute were finding live extremely hard as a result of the economic recession.

The activist pointed out clearly that, “Many local Nigerian marketers have never used or made transactions with the dollar but claim the rise in foreign currency has affected the price of their goods.”

Ramatu called on the federal government, Nigerian Labour Union, and Trade Union, with human rights organizations to quickly intervene, through dialoging with market unions by solving the problems through reducing the prices of goods in the market as marketers have failed to comply.

“Dollar has crashed yet traders still sell all products at high prices, can you imagine that? What does sugar cane, vegetable, onion, pepper, tomato, okro, mango and paw-paw got to do with the rise of dollars for God’s sake!

Religious leaders, Non-Governmental Organization and civil organizations across the country have expressed dismay with the attitude of some Nigerian traders who are guilty of their unruly behaviour to humanity.

In Kaduna, northwest Nigeria, pastor Yohanna Buru, had also visited some local markets in some parts of the region with some Muslims and Christians to see things for themselves.

Buru expressed shocked towards the attitude of some of the marketers as they failed to reduce prices of goods even after the fall in dollar.

He urged the traders selling food items and other assorted commodities in the market to consider the suffering of many Nigerians which is as a result of hike of dollar.

He also appealed to traders to bring down prices of commodities in order to make the common man happy and get reward from God.

Yohanna Buru  said, “The increase in the prices of food commodities at various markets has put many Nigerians into difficulties, with most prices of foodstuff and other commodities in the market almost tripling the normal price.”

He noted that in less than two months to Ramadan traders always take advantage of the season to increase the prizes of foodstuff thereby making the situation unbearable to Muslims throughout the 30 days fasting and prayer.

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