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Xmas: Prices of Livestocks, Food Stuffs, Ingredients Shot Up in Maiduguri

By Ahmed Abu, Maiduguri
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As Christians world wide observe and celebrate Christmas a survey of prices of goods, livestocks and foodstuffs among others in Maiduguri, Borno state capital at the Maiduguri famous Monday Market revealed that despite the boko haram insurgency and delay in salary payment of November 2017 as well as non payment of December 2017, the market was full to capacity with buyers and sellers especially, women and children in preparation for the Christmas.

Prices of goods, livestocks and foodstuff including ingredients have shot up even before the Christmas day and New Year when celebrations are expected and at its peak.

Foreign rice bag cost N20000 while local rice cost between N16000-N18000, Gallon of vegetable oil cost N4500 instead of N3900, gallon of palm oil N4300 instead of N3800.

Goat cost more than ram and sheep. Goat cost between N30,000 -N20,000 instead of N18000-N8000 while ram and sheep cost between N25000-N15000 while chickens cost between N3000-N1800 instead of N2500-N1200.

As for Ingredients, a basket or carton of tomatoes cost between N12000-N9000 instead of N9000-N7000, bag of onions cost between N17000-N13000 instead of N12000-N8000, fresh red and green pepper and spices basket or carton cost between N15000-N12000 instead of N11000-N7000.

Prices of Maggie cubes, salt, curry powder, onga, theme and royco among others have not change.

Hassan Hussain, a clothes and wrappers seller at Monday Market Maiduguri said, " Actually, due to the insurgency, things are not going well like in the past when there was no insurgency. "

"In the past, by this period, in this kind of festival period, you will see women and children in large number patronizing our goods. Buying different kind of things.

" By that time, there was availability of funds. Workers and teachers come into the market frequently and loaded with enough money to buy whatever they want.

" But today, as you can see, there are no much people. However, we are grateful to God for the little patronage which is better than none.

"And we still have the hope that if salary is paid to workers who are the large majority of our customers, they will come in to buy many things for their families especially, for their children and wives at Christmas", Hassan said.

Oluremi Jimoh, a petty trader at the Oil and Gari Lane Monday Market said," We are really not making it as in the past due to the crisis. But our. Customers are still coming to patronize us especially for the Christmas.

"We have increased the prices of our garri, palm and ground oil including green leaves and bitter leaves sue to the fuel scarcity and increase in transport fares or transportation of or goods from the east and south down to the north.

"We are also not happy but we hope if the fuel is available, they will reduce the transport cost and the prices of our goods will also reduce. But no how, we have to buy and celebrate the Christmas like that this year", Oluremi said.

Malam Fantami , a rice dealer at the Monday Market said, " the increase in prices of the bags of rice whether local or foreign was as a result of the fuel scarcity.

"If not, in the past before the fuel scarcity, the prices were not like this. Although, the tradition in Maiduguri eery year is that , at festivals, prices of essential commodities and even local goods and ingredients get sky rocketed instead of dropping down to allow people or everybody afford what he or she can buy and eat to celebrate.

Rather, you will find the dealers , middle men and women as well as and retailers increasing the prices of their goods especially during Christmas and sallah periods in Borno which is not the same in other parts of the country like Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos and others. Prices of goods and devices are usually controlled r reduced to create opportunity for people to buy whatever they want to use to celebrate", Fantami said.

Jacob Johnson, a shoes, cosmetics, perfumes and bags trader at the Monday Market said , " The problem actually lies on the insurgency even before the issue of fuel scarcity. Because of the crisis, we don't open market on time and close late. What we do these years is we close early and open late for customers.

Still, we do experience attacks here in the market and fire disaster as well as burglary which compounded the hardships and sufferings we are into.

The worst is lack of regular patronage by the workers who collect salary and come to the markets especially the ladies or women who are my major customers.

We don't much often see them again as usual due to delay in salary And recently the fuel scarcity that has made everything difficult and hard. But whatever it is, people will celebrate the Christmas with the little they have and we have started seeing them coming for one or two things, " Jacob said.

Kullima Junaidu, a grocery seller at Customs area market said," we don't even have enough grocery these days and the prices have even increased with the fuel scarcity despite the fact that in the last, the insurgency has truncated everything but God is in control.

"The cost changed due to the Christmas period and fuel scarcity. We also pay higher transport fares and get the goods from far distances. Because people for Long no longer farm in the last three years around Maiduguri and its environs.

So, wen we finally transport these food items down to Maiduguri, we have to make gain by increasing the prices because if we sale at low prices, we can not recover our. Money talkless of making profit," Junaidu said.