As Muslim faithfuls all over the world begins the annual Ramadan fast today, prices of foodstuffs have gone up astronomically in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.
A survey conducted by Pilot Business in some major markets across the metropolis showed hike in prices of foodstuffs, frozen foods among other commodities.
When our reporters visited Obbo road, Yoruba road and Oja Tuntun on Wednesday, it was observed that cost of rice, beans, catfish, potatoes, sugar and vegetable oil among others have skyrocketed.
Some traders, who spoke to this medium said prices of some commodities went up few weeks to the commencement of Ramadan fasting.
The owner of Jolayemi foodstuff, Mrs. Jolayemi Shola stated that a bag of rice which used to go for N13,500, now cost N15,000, while a blow which used to be sold for N450 now sell for N500.
She added that a tray of milk, which cost was N4,000 now go for N4,200, saying that the price of a bag of beans has increased from N35,000 before, now N44,000.
A meat seller simply identified as Iya Meta disclosed that a leg of cow which was sold for N25,000 now cost N29,000.
A trader, Mrs Funke Ajayi said 25 litres of Groundnut oil which was sold N10,200 few weeks is now N16,600, while palm oil which was sold for N8,500 per gallon, now sell for N10,500, with a bag of gari now N15,000 from N11,000.
A pepper seller, Mrs. Kudirat Yakub said a basket of Tomatoes which cost N4,000 before is now N22,0000.
“A basket of pepper which we used to sell for N4,000 now cost N8,000, while a sack of onions sold for N8000now N11,000,” she added.
Also a catfish seller, who simply identified himself as Isaac said one kilogram of fish, which was sold for N600 now go for N750, with a bowl of fish going for N25,000 now N31,000.
A livestock trader, Alhaji Mohammed Ola said the price of chicken varies from between N1500, to N2500, adding that though there was no hike in price patronage has been very low.
Bolanle Jamiu an Irish potatoes seller at Yoruba road said, “Before now a sack of potatoes was sold between N15,000 to N16,000, but now we sell it at N23,000 to N25,000.
“The fact of the matter is that people are taking undue advantage of this fasting period because of the high demand of the commodity. A basket of potatoes was sold between N800 and N1,000 but now it is N1,500 and it may likely continue to go up,” she added.
Mrs. Eunice Bamidele who sells yam tubers at Obbo road said, a tuber sold for N300 three weeks ago is now N450.
She blamed the development on hoarding by some traders for the purpose of making more profit during Ramadan period.
Abdulwahab said compared to last year, the prices of grains had substantially reduced, saying a bag of millet which was sold at N19,000 in the previous now sell within the range of N14,000 to N14,500.
A fruits seller, Usman Zubairu said oranges were a bit more expensive this year compared to last year.
He said a bag which was sold for N4, 000 last year now goes for between N7, 500 to N8, 000.
Cross section of consumers who spoke to our reporters decried the situation and appealed to the state government to ensure price control.