Soaring Prices of Tomatoes and Pepper Strain Nigerian Households Post-Eid Celebration

Residents and traders alike are urging the Federal Government to take immediate action to alleviate the burden on consumers. In Lafiya, the capital of Nasarawa State, the cost of a big basket of tomatoes has surged from N17,000 in January to an astonishing N65,000

In a distressing turn of events, the prices of tomatoes and pepper have skyrocketed across several states in northern Nigeria, leaving residents grappling with the soaring costs.

The recent Eid-il-Kabir festival, traditionally a period of feasting and communal celebration, has only exacerbated the situation as market prices continue to climb, contrary to expectations.

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In a survey conducted by Arewa PUNCH, major markets in Kaduna, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, and Sokoto revealed an alarming increase in the prices of these essential commodities.

Residents and traders alike are urging the Federal Government to take immediate action to alleviate the burden on consumers. In Lafiya, the capital of Nasarawa State, the cost of a big basket of tomatoes has surged from N17,000 in January to an astonishing N65,000.

Similarly, a bag of pepper that previously sold for N10,000 now costs N52,000. Halima Musa, a local housewife, expressed her frustration, calling for government intervention to regulate and stabilize market prices.

Joy Abraham, another resident, shared that she has resorted to using sachet tomatoes as the prices of fresh tomatoes and pepper have become unaffordable.

“A small painter bucket of tomatoes, which used to cost between N1,000 and N1,500, now sells for N8,000 to N10,000, while a similar quantity of pepper, previously N600, now goes for N4,000,” she lamented.

Traders in the region deny culpability for the price hikes. Yakubu Ibrahim, a trader in Lafiya, explained that the high costs are due to the increased prices from suppliers in Plateau State and other North Central regions.

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“We sell almost at the same price we buy because we also consider the suffering of our fellow citizens,” Ibrahim stated.

In Kogi State, prices have reached unprecedented levels. Ibrahim Yusuf, a trader in Lokoja, noted that a dustbin basket of tomatoes now sells for N11,000, with larger baskets fetching between N100,000 and N120,000. He warned that these prices are likely to rise further.

Ilyasu Baba, another trader, reported that a bag of pepper sells for between N8,000 and N12,000 at Lokongoma market, while onions are priced at N3,500 per dustbin basket.

Adamawa State faces a similar crisis, with fresh tomatoes and pepper becoming luxury items for many families. Hassan Umar, a trader, disclosed that a bag of tomatoes now costs ₦120,000, while a basket of the big red pepper, ‘atarumbu,’ is priced at ₦55,000.

“Four pieces of tomatoes cost ₦500, and it is impossible to find any for less than ₦300,” he said. Local eateries and restaurants are also feeling the pinch. Mrs. Grace Ishaya, a restaurant operator, has had to close her shop due to the exorbitant costs. “Tomatoes and fresh red peppers are now out of reach,” she explained.

In Jalingo, Taraba State, the story is no different. Prices have surged dramatically, with tomatoes now costing ₦500 per unit, up from ₦200, and pepper increasing from ₦150 to ₦400. Hadjia Aisha Musa, a tomato seller, attributed the rise to poor weather conditions and transportation issues, which have reduced supply.

Consumers across the region are struggling to adapt. Toyin Alabi from Minna lamented that with N20,000, she could no longer buy a reasonable amount of food items. “Tomatoes and peppers are now no-go areas. Just a small measure of tomato that used to sell for N250 to N300 now sells for N1,000,” she said.

The unprecedented price hikes have forced many families to seek alternative, often unhealthy, ways to flavor their meals.

As the crisis continues, the call for government intervention grows louder, with residents hoping for swift and effective measures to stabilize the market and bring relief to struggling households.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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