By Ronke Asagun
Ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir festival, prices of some basic food items have increased between five to 10 per cent in some markets in Lokoja in Kogi.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who visited the Old and the International markets on Tuesday reported that the prices of rice, beans, tomato, vegetable oil, palm oil and other food items had increased.
The survey revealed that a 50kg bag of parboiled rice selling for N16,000 before had increased to between N17,000 and N18, 000 in the two foodstuff markets.
In the markets, a bowl of rice now sells for N600, up from N500 it was sold last week.
The survey further revealed that the price of local rice was stable at N21,000 per bag of 80kg.
A bowl of white beans which was N350 had increased to N500 while a 10kg bag of Semovita now sells at N3,100 instead of the former N2,900.
A trader at the old market, Mrs Faith Audu, who spoke with NAN, said that the marginal increase in the prices of food items was due to the forthcoming Eid-el-Kabir festival.
Audu, however, said that the prices of some food items were still stable, saying that a 25-litre of vegetable oil still sells for between N16, 500 and N17, 000 depending on the brand.
Mrs Bisi Adewale, a trader at the international market told NAN that a 25-litre of vegetable oil goes for between N16,000 and N16,500, saying that the prices of the commodity was also stable at the market.
A trader at the vegetable oil section of the old market, Ali Mohammed, said that prices of the items remained stable in spite of the approaching festive period.
He said that a basket of tomatoes remains N6,000, while a medium basket still sells for N1,500 .
Mohammed said that the same goes for pepper and onions which still remain at N5,000 per bag of pepper and N1,500 for a medium size bag of onion.
He, however, said that prices might increase as the Sallah Day gets closer, urging people to come out and buy now.
A buyer at the old market, Mrs Felicia Adebanjo , attributed the price increase to the recent payment of five months’ salary arrears at a go to workers and pensioners by the state government.
She noted that the hike in prices of the items was done deliberately by the traders to get their own share from the lump sum of salary arrears paid to the state workers..
Adebanjo was optimistic that the prices would revert to normal almost immediately after the Eid-el-Kabir festival. (NAN).