June 17, 2024

Residents lament soaring prices of rice, other foodstuffs in Jos markets

Residents have lamented the soaring prices of rice in Jos markets.

According to a report, the prices of rice have gone up in Jos, as a 50kg bag of smuggled rice now costs N45,000, up from N35,000 for which it was sold three weeks ago.

A correspondent who conducted a market survey reports a 50kg bag of locally-parboiled rice now sells for N43,000, up from N28,000 in September.

A bag of local rice containing 80 bowl measures of local rice, sold at N50,000 at the beginning of the year, now sells at N72,000 in Jos.

Austin Chikwujindu, a trader at the Chorbe Market, blamed the price increases on the soaring rate of the dollar and recent flooding in parts of the country.

“The price of a 50kg bag of foreign parboiled rice has risen to N45,000 from N35,000 that was obtainable just three weeks ago.”

Mr Chikwujindu attributed the soaring price to the rise in dollar rates, fuel scarcity, and floods that ravaged several communities.

A foodstuff trader at Katako Market, Aliyu Umar, said 80 bowl measures of local rice which used to sell for N50,000 is now sold at N72,000 and may go higher.

Mr Umar also blamed the floods for soaring food prices, noting that the floods washed away a lot of rice farms.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the 2022 flood is the worst in a decade.

It destroyed more than 70,000 hectares of farmland, damaged more than 45,000 houses and displaced more than 1.4 million Nigerians while taking the lives of about 600 persons.

Thousands of hectares of rice farms were reportedly washed away in Jigawa, Kebbi, Kano, Benue, Taraba, Niger, and Kogi, among other states.

NEMA and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) attributed the flood to the release of excess water from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam, which cascaded into Nigeria through River Benue, affecting communities in many states.

Current data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs show that people affected by widespread flooding across Nigeria have risen to more than 3.2 million.

It also reported that more than 600 fatalities were recorded and 1.4 million people displaced.

It also reported that 4.1 million people would face severe food insecurity, with 1.7 million children below the age of five years suffering from acute malnutrition in 2022.

There had also been increases in the prices of maize, groundnut oil, palm oil and Semovita, among others.


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