As Nigerian Christians join their counterparts across the world to celebrate Easter, prices of commodities have skyrocketed in most markets at Auchi, headquarter of Etsako-West Local Government Area of Edo.
A market survey conducted by our correspondent yesterday revealed that the prices of frozen foods which showed marginal increases during the Xmas celebrations have increased further, beyond the reach of the average Nigerian.
Some commodities that have witnessed noticeable increases include rice, chicken, beef, tomatoes, groundnut oil, palm oil, pepper, yams, onions and potatoes.
At the Jattu market, a carton of turkey which initially sold for between N8,500 and N9,000 now costs N9,500 and N10,000 while a carton of chicken previously sold at N6,500 and N7,000 now goes for N7,500 and N8,000.
Also, a bag of rice which initially sold for between N6,500 and N7,000 now costs N8,500 and N9,000, depending on the brand.
A big basket of tomatoes now sells for between N4,000 and N5,000 as against N2,500 and N3,500 previously, while a bag of big pepper, popularly known as ‘tatashe’ which previously sold for N1,500 now costs N3,500.
Similarly, a 20-litre jerrycan of palm oil which sold for N3000 at the beginning of January now costs about N3,500.
A similar trend was recorded in other markets near Auchi, including Uchi, Aviele and Igbei markets, with the local-breed chicken costing between N1,500 and N2,500, depending on the size, up from N1,000 previously.
Some traders attributed the price increase to high demand because of the festive season, as well as the high cost of feeds.
Mr. Sunday Imoedeh, one of the sellers at Jattu Market, observed that the demand for chicken and other foodstuffs was usually high during festive periods.
“You know that during any celebration period, there are lots of activities and so the price of chicken usually goes up, he said.
Also Mr Micheal Okafor, lamented that the current price increase was a deliberate effort by traders to make life more difficult for the people.
“It has been the tradition of the traders to tamper with prices of foodstuff whenever there is any festival around, ‘’ Okafor noted.