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COVID-19: The Rising Cost of Goods Ahead of Ramadan

Ahead of this year’s Ramadan period, the price of some basic commodities has risen in the market as compounded by the lockdown in many states to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

Some traders in Jimeta modern market who spoke to this reporter said they have no option than to increase the price of their goods in the face of current realities.

A trader who identified himself as Abubakar Bashir attributed the price to the lockdown order and the high cost of transportation in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. He recalled that before the lockdown local rice was Four Hundred and Twenty Naira per mudu but now the price has increased to between Five Hundred to Five Hundred and Fifty Naira per mudu.

He appealed to government to come to the aid of traders and transportation businesses so that sundry charges are not passed to consumers by way of higher price of commodities at this critical time.

A rice seller in the same market who identified herself as Fatima Gambo said the reason for the increase in price is the lack of availability of basic goods in the market due to the lockdown, adding that distributors fail to supply the goods on time since the lockdown commenced.

Abdullahi Idris and Umar Aliyu Dogo lamented that most traders find it difficult to stock basic commodities due to the restriction of movement across the country which has affected the transportation and even production of some of the goods. They claimed that many companies are yet to resume manufacturing due to the pandemic.

Responding on the high price of goods, a resident of Jimeta, Fatima Ibrahim Kasim, accused traders of arbitrarily increasing the price of commodities. She, therefore, appealed to the traders to consider the hardship people will face in this period and have the fear of Allah by reducing the price, especially in the month of Ramadan.

Also a resident of the area, Babangida Saidu lamented over the price increase of basic commodities, especially items required most during Ramadan. He attributed this to the general economic crisis the world is facing for various reasons, including coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, he charged traders to fear Allah and to favour consumers, especially in lockdown situation as we approach Ramadan.

He further called on the government to stabilize prices through special intervention and palliatives to reduce the economic hardship people are facing.

Responding, the state chairman of Gamzaki Traders Association, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad, 86, linked the price increase for basic goods to COVID-19, pointing out that manufacturers have slowed down production which has reduced supply in the market leading to a higher price. He also pointed out that, most companies that produce essential goods such as sugar, milk, seasoning, etc. have shut down because of the pandemic, while the transportation of these goods to end-users has become more difficult and expensive.

The association chairman, however, appealed to traders be more considerate approaching of the month of Ramadan so as to ease the suffering of fellow citizens and receive rewards in the month of Ramadan. He also urged the government to assist traders in the state so as to boost economic activities.

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