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Nigerians call for opening of land borders amid high food prices, price index hits 40.66%

Nigerians have called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, to quickly open the country’s land borders to enable food to come from neighbouring countries to save citizens from starvation.

The inflation figures released Saturday again show that, the food price indices increased as well by 0.13 per cent to 40.66 per cent from 40.53 per cent. 

A recent survey in Lagos revealed a staggering 200 per cent increase in livestock prices over the past year, fueled by food inflation, subsidy removal, and other economic pressures.

In Lagos’ bustling Agege abattoir, vendors and butchers paint a grim picture. Rams that once sold for N100,000 to N150,000 now command prices between N300,000 and N400,000, marking a sharp 150 per cent surge.

Audu, a seasoned seller, gestures towards a medium-sized ram. “Last year, this would have gone for N100,000. Now, I can’t sell it for less than N300,000. It just doesn’t pay,” he tells Nairametrics. “Everything has gone up.”

Ibrahim, a dealer in the pepper and tomato business, revealed that a basket of tomatoes in this season can go as high as N200,000 “Most people can’t afford these things anymore,” he admits. 

Last month, the same basket would have gone for N40,000 or even less. 

A bag of rice now sells between N79,000 and N90,000, depending on the type of rice one is purchasing.

The same was observed when it comes to a paint bucket of garri which was sold for around N600 last year but is now selling between N3,800 and N4,200, with an increase of over 400 per cent.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that consumer prices increased by an annual 33.95 per cent, up from 33.7 per cent in April.

“The planting season, coupled with insecurity threats resulted in supply chain disruption,” said Bismarck Rewane, managing director of Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited.

This is as Muslim faithful lament the attendance effect of very high prices of food stuff on this year’s Sallah celebrations.

Ismaila Bolaji, a Muslim faithful in Ipaja said, “It is difficult to begin to explain what we are facing. Ordinary tomatoes and pepper are no-go areas, how then can you think of ram?”

He said the situation is so bad that those who used to host the less privileged ones, cannot afford to cook themselves, so many are wearing long faces.

Analysts have attributed the shortage of food to major insecurity. According to them, governments, not only the present, have treated those destroying what is planted in farms and the unknown gunmen who collect money from Farmers before allowing them access to their farms with levity.

“In fact the government has been pampering them, as though there is some hidden synergy between them. Now it is full blown, and the immediate way out is for the present government to open the borders, before planning what to do with agriculture”, said John Ogodo, a retired civil servant.

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