Nigeria

Border closure: Federal government urged to cushion effects of rising prices of foodstuffs

Traders and consumers have lamented the rising costs of foodstuffs and others commodities following the closure of the border between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin by the Federal Government on Thursday, August 20.

They pleaded with the Federal Government to cushion the effect that the closure is having on standard of living of the citizens.

Some foodstuff traders who spoke with newsmen said that their businesses have suffered untold setback as a result of the closure.

A foodstuff dealer at Mushin market, Lagos, who gave his name simply as Darlington said he used to buy a bag of rice between N13, 900 and N14, 200. “Now, a bag is sold between N17, 000 and N18, 000. The hardship caused by the closure is just too much. They asked us to buy Nigerian rice but the problem is, will there be continuity? Would the Nigerian rice be sufficient to feed Nigerians? We want the Federal Government to do something urgently about this because it would aggravate the crisis in the country if urgent measures are not taken to cushion the effect.”

A frozen food seller at Igando Market, Bose Abiola, lamented that the she has been rendered jobless by the border closure as she does not get supplies anymore.

“I was getting regular supplies before the closure and it is from the money that I make from this that I used to take care of my children. How would I get money to pay my children’s school fees when they resume next month? My colleagues who manage to get supplies sell a kilo of chicken which used to sell for between N1000 and N1, 100 for N1, 500 now.

“The price of turkey too has also gone up. A kilo that used to cost N1,200 is now sold for N1,700 and above. How many people can afford this or how many people can afford to buy live chicken. We are complaining of worsening cases of criminal activities in the country, yet the government is not making things better for the poor masses.

A consumer who gave her name as Elizabeth also decried the effects of the border closure on her finances. “The economy that wasn’t looking good before has been aggravated by the closure of the border. The government ought to envisaged the problem that would come with the closure and plan ahead to alleviate the hardship. They can still do something before things get out of hand,” she said.

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