After Sallah, tomatoes, pepper costs stay excessive as North groans

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Prices of tomatoes and pepper within the North have continued to soar regardless of the objects being of their season, Arewa PUNCH stories.

The improvement has reached an alarming stage such that residents say their costs have stripped them to reveal bones.

Most of the residents additional groan that the costs of pepper and tomatoes specifically have additional hit the roof just some days after the Muslim pageant of Eid-il-kabir.

Checks by Arewa PUNCH correspondents who went out to observe the state of affairs throughout some main markets within the northern a part of the nation that features Kaduna, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, and Sokoto, indicated that relatively than the costs of those perishable commodities abate even after the Sallah celebration they’re rising uncontrollably.

For occasion, in Lafiya, the Nasarawa State capital, residents lamented over the price of tomatoes and peppers urging the Federal Government to take proactive measures to arrest the state of affairs.

Halima Musa, a housewife, informed our correspondent {that a} large basket of tomatoes, which price N17,000 early January, now sells for N65,000, whereas a bag of pepper that offered for N10,000 now goes for N52,000.

According to her, the federal government should urgently intervene into the state of affairs and intentionally crash costs of excellent within the markets with a view to regulating them.

For Joy Abraham, one other housewife and mom of three, she mentioned she had since stopped cooking with both recent tomatoes or pepper as the costs have continued to skyrocket past her attain.

“I made a decision to return to utilizing sachet tomatoes as a result of the worth of recent tomatoes has refused to come back down anytime quickly.

“A small painter bucket of tomatoes which used to be sold for between N1,000 to N1,500 now sells for N8,000 to N10,000, while a small painter bucket of pepper which sold for N600 now sells for N4,000,” she added.

Yakubu Ibrahim,  a dealer on the Lafiya market dealing in tomatoes and peppers, absolved his colleagues from the hovering costs of the commodities.

Speaking within the Hausa language he defined to Arewa PUNCH, “So many individuals are saying that it’s our fault that the costs of tomatoes and pepper are rising, however it isn’t so.

“We buy most of these cooking ingredients from Plateau State and other states in the North Central region. And we sell almost at the same amount we buy the items because we are also considering the suffering of our fellow citizens,” Ibrahim mentioned.

In Lokoja, Kogi State, our correspondent famous {that a} dustbin basket of tomatoes sells for N11,000 whereas one large basket sells for between N100,000 and N120,000.

One of the merchants on the Kogi market, Ibrahim Yusuf, informed our correspondent on the outdated market in Lokoja that the costs quoted had been the newest costs after the Sallah celebration.

“The last time I bought was three days ago (Wednesday) and I am very certain that the price can not be the same as at today,” he mentioned.

Another dealer, Ilyasu Baba, who sells onions on the Kpata market, additionally in Lokoja, mentioned one full dustbin basket goes for N3,500 whereas a full bag sells for N70,000.

At the Lokongoma market, a bag of pepper sells for between N8,000 and N12,000, he added.

Meanwhile, in Adamawa State, recent tomatoes and pepper at the moment are out of attain for poor households, simply as native eateries and different restaurant operators additionally groan.

The reason for the groaning and gnashing stays the hovering costs of the commodities.

Our correspondent, who visited the ‘Cooking-cooking Ingredient market’ situated alongside the Jimeta-Girei Road, noticed that there have been solely merchants promoting tomatoes and peppers with no consumers to patronise them.

Some of the merchants who spoke with Arewa PUNCH attributed  the excessive price of the 2 commodities to the “unbearable high cost of transporting the commodities into the state.”

A dealer who recognized himself as Hassan Umar disclosed {that a} bag of recent tomatoes now  goes for ₦120, 000 and the massive pink pepper referred to as ‘atarumbu’ now price ₦55,000  per basket.

 “Four pieces of tomatoes is ₦500. There are no tomatoes that can be bought for even N300 again,” he declared.

Abubakar Jimeta, one other dealer, informed our correspondent that  getting tomatoes and recent pink pepper is a tough process. He attributed the event to the excessive price of transporting the commodities and the prevailing insecurity in some components of the North.

“In the past, we get our large quantity of supply from Benue State but now, the cost of transportation and the insecurity along the Wukari-Jalingo road have stopped those that usually supply us the commodities,” he burdened.

A restaurant operator, Mrs Grace Ishaya, mentioned the event compelled her into closing her store as tomatoes and recent pink peppers at the moment are out of her attain.

In Jalingo, Taraba State, the story is similar as residents lament the sharp improve in the price of tomatoes and peppers.

A survey carried out by our correspondent confirmed that just a few weeks again, the price of these important soup commodities had been pretty inexpensive till of latest when the costs surged astronomically.

Tomatoes, which beforehand offered for N200, now prices about N500, whereas the worth of pepper has equally risen from N150 to N400 per unit measure.

As a outcome, Hadjia Aisha Musa, a tomato vendor in Jalingo market, expressed her frustration, saying that the rise is past the merchants’ attain

 “The increase in prices is beyond our control. Poor weather conditions and transportation issues have reduced supply, making it difficult for us to meet the demand. Customers are unhappy, and it’s affecting our sales,” she admitted.

Buyers are equally distressed by the rising costs as Mr. John Adamu, a client, lamented over the hovering costs.

“It’s turning into very laborious to afford fundamental components for our meals. The excessive price of tomatoes and pepper is placing a pressure on my household’s funds.

According to each customers and tomatoes sellers in Minna market, the excessive price of meals objects, particularly perishable commodities like tomatoes and peppers stay unprecedented  within the historical past of Nigeria.

Most customers additional lament that as a result of the costs of the commodities have gone out of their attain, they’ve now resorted to embarking on unhealthy different means so as to add flavour to their dishes.

A housewife, Toyin Alabi, informed our correspondent that she now not goes to Kure market to purchase meals objects, particularly tomatoes and peppers due to the fee implication.

“You cannot come to the market with N20,000 and discover something reasonsble to purchase. Tomatoes and peppers at the moment are no-go areas. Just a small measure of  tomato that used to promote between N250 and N300 now sells for N1000.

“Pepper is even worse. Before, with less than N500.00, I would  buy pepper that is enough for the entire family but now with N1500, you have to add ‘I beg’ before the sellers will listen to you,” she insisted.

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A dealer, Abubakar Jibrin, mentioned the excessive price of the commodities – tomatoes and peppers shouldn’t be solely blamed on the merchants.

Jibrin defined that they (merchants) needed to journey outdoors the state to locations resembling Sokoto, Kano and a few distant villages within the states to buy the objects, which “is not easy.”

“I sell a basket of tomatoes for ₦20,000 while I sell a small measure for N1000 and N1500 depending on the size. I always tell consumers  that it is not our fault. Before, the highest amount I would sell is N300, but today, as the economy continues to bite harder, prices are going higher. Unfortunately prices go up every day now,” he mentioned, gritting his enamel.

In Sokoto State, a basket of tomatoes now goes for between N90,000 and N100,000.

A dealer, Mallam Usman Aliyu, who sells the soup objects popularly recognized within the Hausa language as  Kayan Miya informed our correspondent that the identical merchandise (tomatoes) offered for lower than N30,000 about two months in the past.

“A basket of the identical tomatoes you’re seeing right here was lower than N30,000 simply two months in the past, however have you learnt it’s over N90,000 now?

“A bag of pepper which was about N60,000 just a few days again, now the identical bag is about N150,000.

“Things are getting out of hand for the masses, and our government needs to come to our aide on this.”

In Gombe, when our correspondent visited Tumfure and Baban Kasuwa markets, customers had been seen lamenting the excessive price of tomatoes and peppers.

Arewa PUNCH stories that many residents have resorted to creating use of  dried tomatoes and pepper within the place of recent ones.

“Not because I don’t like fresh tomatoes and pepper, but I can’t afford it. You can’t compare dried tomatoes to fresh ones; the difference is clear,” Doris Markus mentioned, whereas bemoaning the price of tomatoes available in the market.

On her half, Laraba Joshua, famous that she makes use of dried tomatoes to spice up the amount, including that, “I use the dried tomatoes and pepper to make the pot of stew bigger, not because i don’t know the difference.”

Alhaji Abdu Bello, a pepper vendor decried the hike in costs, noting that clients have been complaining based mostly on the portions.

Bello mentioned, “I’m not happy at all. Customers are not happy. It’s not like we are making so much gain. The amount we buy one basket has since tripled, and we need to make it back because people need to eat.”

At the Sheikh  Mahmud Gumi Central Market in Kaduna, Mrs. Gladys Akpojiyovwi, a housewife, mentioned she had the shock her life as she ready for the burial of her late mom.

A survey, in accordance with her, confirmed {that a} basket of tomatoes which offered for between N30,000 and N45,000 earlier within the 12 months now sells for between N100,000 and N150,000 on the market.

“This was according to the trader,” she mentioned, including that, “before now, a basket of tomatoes was as cheap as N18,000 and N30,000 respectively.”

She continued that the present worth of an enormous bag for (shombo pepper) is N90,000, whereas a small bag goes for between N40,000 to N45,000.

Earlier, the massive bag of shombo went for lower than N40,000. Tatase now goes for N80,000, she added.

A pepper and tomatoes dealer on the Barkin-dogo market, Mallam

Ibrahim, who says he’s additionally the market youth leader-in-charge of tomatoes in Kaduna State,  attributed the hovering costs of tomatoes throughout the state to the outbreak of a virulent disease generally known as ‘Sharon’

Speaking with our correspondent, he mentioned, “Farmers complained that  the disease had resulted in the loss of millions of naira during the current farming season.”

Arewa PUNCH stories that tuta absoluta, a moth household specie, is a damaging pest that precipitated a nationwide disruption to the tomato worth chain in 2015.

Ibrahim famous that the shortage and subsequent hike within the worth of tomatoes was  unprecedented within the historical past of Nigeria, including that “early this 12 months, in the course of the small Sallah, tomatoes had been offered at very low cost costs.

He recalled {that a} paint rubber of tomatoes again then offered for between N700 and N1000.

“The shortage is a results of lack of rainfall which led farmers to lose tens of millions of naira price of tomatoes. As a results of this calamity, customers faulted tomatoes sellers of hoarding the commodity, which isn’t the reality.

“You can’t hoard onions, tomatoes, and peppers as a result of they’re all perishable commodities. Once it’s out, it’s out.

“Usually, after Sallah, the commodities’ prices will fall. That has been the tradition, but of recent, this has not been so. Rather, the prices have continued to go higher.”

Another dealer, Mallam Bashir Rabe Abubakar, who’s a significant seller in tomatoes, peppers, and onions additionally on the Bakin-Dogo market in Kaduna State additional

clarified that the worth improve of tomatoes has nothing with the Sallah celebration.

In his estimation, the reason for the arbitrary will increase within the costs of peppers and tomatoes is the alleged huge extortion by safety personnel and the varied native council touts stationed on the numerous highway blocks mounted on the highways, particularly at night time.

“We drivers normally complain that we pay a lot cash to the safety males on the totally different highway blocks at night time. You know we journey extra at night time.

“These road blocks are many and they range from the road blocks mounted by the Road Safety people, the Police, the Military check points, and some funny-looking touts and miscreants who say they are collecting the ‘due’ on behalf on the local governments.”

Painting a cursory image of the unhappy state of affairs, Abubakar mentioned within the Hausa language, “A visit from Zaria to Lagos for example will encounter at least 60 to 70 of such mounted highway blocks at night time and picture what’s left if the driving force should give out N200 at each highway block and examine level.

The driver does this when going and coming. You do the mathematics.

“This is aside from the excessive price of fuelling our vans with petrol or diesel.

So, if we give out between N100 000 and N120,000 when going to a state like Lagos and nonetheless pay one other spherical of cash when returning, how do you count on the pepper and tomatoes sellers to make earnings?

“These people know that we can’t refuse not to pay as the case maybe, as bribe for passage of our vehicles conveying tomatoes and other perishable commodities  to the southern part of the country,” he alleged.



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