By Oluyinka Onigbinde
On the heels of severe macro economic headwinds, food vendors in the country are lamenting low patronage by consumers.
The nation’s inflation rate according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) currently stands at 18.55 per cent.
Specifically, food vendors around Apapa area, Agege and Sango visited by our correspondent blamed the economy situation on consumers’ low turnout.
Speaking with Nigerian NewsDirect during the weekend, Mrs. Zainab Adeowo a food vendor in the Apapa area of Lagos lamented the hike in prices of rice and other food stuffs.
According to her “I used to cook 15 De rica’s of rice prior to this time, five in the morning, five in the afternoon and at times five in the evening depending on the day of the week, but now I barely manage to sell four De rica’s of rice a whole day.
“quite a number of times as my family consume most of the foods as customers lament that there is no money and some disguising under the umbrella that they are fasting’’.
In another chat with Nigerian NewsDirect a popular food vendor in Sango ota with four major outlets in the Lagos suburb said “before now I used to sell per plate at the rate of N250, in all of my outlets but currently now nobody is buying per plate any longer I sell at the rate of what they have some N100 some N150 as I talke to you now, I am contemplating on closing one of my outlets in Lagos as I am not able to pay the shop owner with the income I generate, coupled with high electricity tariff I receive every month.
“Things have been really tough but I pray God will intervene soon, it is not my wish for President Buhari to die, but whoever must die for our country to move forward must die in order for us to have a better Nigeria”. She said.
It will be recalled that recently the federal government set up a committee taskforce to look into the hike in price of food in the country and to see areas where the government needs to intervene to reduce the price of foods.
Speaking recently on a monitored television-based programme the Special Adviser to the vice president, Mr. Laolu Akande decried the hike in price of foods and said there would be a way out soon.
According to him “a committee taskforce has been set up to look into the cause of high prices of food in the market.
“And as soon as we have the report we will start working on it to see areas where the government can intervene if the hike is as a result of transportation we will look into it to see how we can intervene to bring down the cost of transportation.
“We all go to the same market we feel the same thing every Nigerians feel, we have families and friends who go to the market to buy foodstuffs and we get feedback so we know where the shoes pinches and we are working on a way out of this”. He said.
However a section of importers and exporters in the country have decried the setting up of a task force on price control by the Federal Government, saying the government does not need to set up task force for all of the nation’s issues even when there are clear institutions directly responsible for tackling and bringing solution to such problems.
One of the importers said there was nowhere in the world where responsible government keep setting up task force or committees to solve socio economic and political problems
The task force is made up of ministers as members. The high calibre task force parades members such as minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Agric, Audu Ogbeh; Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Trade, Industry and Investment, Okey Enelamah; and Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu. The Offices of the Chief of Staff to the President and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are also drafted to the task force. The team was given seven days to present a plan on how to reduce the cost of food, working on checking closely on transportation and preservations costs as they affect final consumer prices.