Easter: Market Prices Remain Stable In FCT

Religious festivities are usually associated with rise in prices of items in the markets. This is, however, not the case this Easter season as market prices remain stable. Blessing Ukemena writes

The markets in Abuja were not as busy as the usual. At this time of year people would normally troop to the market in a haste to get things ready for the Easter festivities and knowing this, traders usually take advantage of the mad rush to increase the prices of clothes and food items. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) looked almost deserted as lots of residents had travelled to participate in the presidential elections in states where they registered other than the FCT. Some had left out of fear that there would be outbreak of violence but thankfully enough, that was not the case. This, to a large extent affected the market prices of things in the FCT markets

Some of the stalls in Utako market were closed as traders were yet to return from their trips for the elections. This was also noticeable in Wuse market and in the Nyanya market.

Wednesday last week, which is Nyanya market day, was rather used by many people to discuss politics as most of the traders could be heard chanting “Change! Change! Come and take your Change here”. Many of them chanted this over their wares in order to attract more patronage. The reason was because of the scanty nature of the market. It was the day after the collation of election result in which Gen Muhammadu Buhari had won. There was excitement in the air such that some items were sold cheaper than usual while other items remained at the same price.

A bag of Caprice rice, for example, which usually went for 10,000 was sold for 9500 while Mama Gold rice could be gotten at N8000. A basket of Onions which used to cost N800 was now sold at N600.

Speaking to some of the traders at the Wuse market, Eze Ibekwe who sells cloths said, “Most people left because of the elections. And this is Easter so many people will just stay where they are and come after the holiday. Market is slow for now but I won’t blame them because prevention is better than cure”, he said.

Patrick Edom deals in provision at the Utako market. He said, “Before the elections, we sold a lot of goods because people wanted to stock their houses with goods. But now, the town is just dry so the market now suffers,” he stated.

There was an obvious tension in the country just before the elections and so a lot of Nigerians resorted to buying and storing foodstuffs, provisions, kerosene, cooking gas, PMS and other useful household items. This is obviously because most people were afraid of what would happen after the elections.

Some of the residents of FCT who spoke to LEADERSHIP Sunday on the stability of market prices despite the Easter celebrations has varying opinions. Mrs Gina Shola was happy that prices of goods were relatively stable. “I am glad that prices are still the same because last week, just before the election, it was not easy. One kilo of meat which is N1000 was going for N1200. Now, it is back to N1000. I would have traveled but I am glad I stayed as there was no violence after the elections.” She stated. Maria, another resident who was also spotted in the market to buy food items says that prices were just as they used to be before the rush that happened in the week before elections. “I wished it will always be like this but we know that once it is Christmas or any of the Islamic religious festivals, the prices will still go up. I pray that the new government can do something about this flunctuations in market prices”, she said.

Joy Onu sells rice at Nyanya market and says that a mudu of rice still goes for N330 as usual unlike N370 for which it was sold at just before the elections.“People no dey town and we must sell market; that is why we did not increase price for now. Even those people wey travel to buy goods no go come back till after Easter”, she said in pigin English. Investigation shows that a kilo of chicken is being sold at N900 while a kilo of beef goes for N1000 in the local market. Emenike Oyema is a trader selling palm oil, according to him, “Personally, I have not been to the market since last week because of elections. I sold a lot before the election because people were buying out of fear that there will be post election violence. I just returned to market last Thursday to see what I can get. You can see that everywhere is scanty”, he said.

In the days before elections, some filling stations were selling PMS at N90 per litre and above and even collect ‘bribe’ from desperate people who wanted to buy fuel with gallons.

Some other stations in the FCT and environs were even closed down and have remained closed possibly because their owners were yet to return from their trips to other states.

Many people are optimistic that with the presidential election over, things would return to normal in the days ahead. More so, events days after the Easter holiday will determine the direction of prices of items in the market.

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