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Prices Of Essentials Skyrocket In Nigerian Local Markets As The Country Shuts Down

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With the growing numbers of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the country,  Nigerian states are shutting down businesses, leaving only the essentials.

 

Several states including Lagos, rivers, Kwara, Kogi, Kaduna and others have shut down business within their borders. The federal government has also given directive that all level 12 under staff should work from home. All International airports and borders have also been shut down to halt the spread of the virus.

 

With the new directives, the entire country is ready to shut down. People are encouraged to stock-up with food and other essentials as they observe the self-isolation.

 

But in a dramatic turn of events, prices of these products have skyrocketed. Food items like tomatoes, yams, oil and cereals have quadrupled their prices. Items like sachet water (aka pure water) have also dramatically increased. Hand sanitisers, face makes, gloves and other precautionary items are also on the rise.

 

Nigerian markets
Photo: The Guardian Nigeria

 

This has raised the concerns of many as they’ve criticised the callous attitude of vendors for taking advantage of the pandemic to inflate their prices arbitrarily.

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They’re also questions as to why they’re no regulating bodies to check and regulate the prices of items especially in the face of this pandemic.

 

The Nigerian Food & Drug Agency ( FDA) have were notified when prices of sanitisers shot up at malls and were able to intervene. But with the recent price spike in Nigerian local markets, does the FDA have the reach and capacity to set the control of prices in these Markets?. Are they also, willing to?

 

Nigerian Markets
Photo: Quartz

These are some pertinent questions as Nigerians as they’re left to the mercy of vendors.

 

In the acclaimed poverty capital of the world, this is the least time for price hikes seeing as the average citizen is barely making ends meet. As such, the pandemic and consequent lock-down will have harsher consequences on its citizens.

 

Everyone is encouraged to show empathy in these times as we fight to break free from the ravaging virus. It is also crucial that government price regulating bodies step in to help manage the prices of essentials in Nigerian markets and offer respite to citizens.

 

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