RESIDENTS of the State of Osun have bemoaned the persistent hike in prices of foodstuffs in the state.
OSUN DEFENDER visited different markets in the state yesterday to know the current prices of food items such as rice, beans, gari and others.
Some of the markets visited include: Oroki Market at Alekuwodo and Igbonna Market in Osogbo, Obada Market, Iree in Boripe Local Government area and Oja Tuntun in Ile-Ife.
Some of the foodstuffs dealers who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER said the persistent hike in prices of food items is not unconnected with the spate of insecurity in the country, high costs of transportation and scarcity of commodities due to poor weather and other fallouts from insecurity.
According to the foodstuffs sellers, numerous security checkpoints on major highways where security operatives exploit them, low production rate and payment of taxes to federal, state and local governments were also responsible for the hike in the prices of food items.
A yam seller at Igbonna Market, Alhaja Basirat Ogundare, said the major reason for the escalating rise in yam price is due to the present season.
Ogundare said: “There have been lots of changes in the prices of yam, especially in the last two weeks due to the present season. Yam is out of season. The excuse that our suppliers are giving is that the prices are being inflated as the stock is reducing from their warehouses.
“In the last two weeks, a tuber of yam was sold at the rate of N600, N700, and even N1,000. There is scarcity of yam where we are getting it due to low rate of production and also the hike in transportation costs is now alarming. We are spending more on transporting our goods from where we get them to the market.
Also, a rice dealer, Mr. Mubarak Akanbi, said a bag of rice was sold at N23, 500 in the last two weeks while it costs a sum of N24,500 now.
Akanbi said the fluctuation in rice price is as a result of persistent clashes between the personnel of the Nigeria Customs and smugglers.
According to a resident of Ile-Ife, Mrs. Titilayo Alawode, a bag of rice was sold at the rate of N24,000 in the last two weeks while it was being sold at N26,500 at present in the city.
She said a bag of gari was sold at N10,000 two weeks ago but is now being sold at N15,000, which is also applicable to all other food items.
In Iree town, a congo of rice was N750 two weeks ago but is now sold at N850 while a congo of beans (Oloyin) has been increased to N1,000 from N900.
A congo of gari is now being sold at N500 as against N400.