Ramadan: Prices of food items increase in Abuja markets

As Ramadan, the annual Islamic fasting season, begins, prices of various food items have increased in Abuja and its environs.

As Ramadan, the annual Islamic fasting season, begins, prices of various food items have increased in Abuja and its environs.

A recent News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) survey of markets in the Garki, Bwari, Wuse neighbourhoods of Abuja as well as in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, revealed between a five to 10 per cent rise in the prices of foodstuffs.

For instance, in the markets of the four areas, the prices of different brands of a 20-litre gallon of vegetable oil have increased from N12,300, N10, 480, N9, 700 to N14, 200, N11, 100 and N9, 900 respectively.

Similarly, a 25-litre can of palm oil, which formerly cost N9, 000, now sold for N10, 500. But traders attributed the increase in palm oil price to the onset of the rainy season.

NAN observed that the price of tomato has spiralled, as a big basket of tomato now attracted prices ranging from N15,000, N22,000, N25,000 to N30,000; up from its old price of N15, 000 and N12, 000 and N9, 000, depending on factors such the freshness and the species of the tomato.

The prices of a big basket of chilli pepper had fluctuated between N12, 000 and N15, 000, depending on bargaining power of the purchaser, while price of a big basket of the pepper variety known as tatashe had also increased from N13, 500 to N17, 000.

NAN gathered that barely two months ago, a polythene bag of white garri sold for N10,000 but the price had now shot up to N14,000. The price of a mudu (measure) of garri had increased from N120 to N170, while that of a paint-rubber measure of the commodity had increased from N350 to N450.

The price of a 100kg bag of white beans had risen from N30,500 to N38,000; the cost of a similar quantity of red beans had increased from N45,000 to N60,000, while a mudu of red beans now cost N470.

In respect of rice, the price of a 50kg. bag of rice ranged between N13,000, N17,000 and N22,000 — depending on its brand — while the markets were fully stocked with the made-in-Nigeria varieties of rice.

Similarly, the prices of iced fish in some cold rooms in the Mararaba neighbourhood of Nasarawa State had increased considerably.

Before now, a carton of mackerel fish cost between N12,000 and N14,000; but the carton now costs N22,000, while the price of a carton of croaker fish nowadays was N35, 000.

‎The market survey also indicated significant increases in the prices of other food items like water yam, yam, cocoa yam and potato but the price of sweet potato had somewhat remained stable.

Going from the general to the specifics, price of a set of five big tubers of yam, which formerly cost N2, 800, now sold for between N3, 500 and N4, 500.

The price of the water yam species had also changed, as a set of five tubers of water yam now sold for N2, 500, as against its former price of N2,000.

A bag of Irish potato, which used to sell for N7, 000, now attracted prices ranging between N10, 000 and N10, 500.

NAN also discovered that the prices of frozen food items and poultry products, including eggs, fish, turkey and lobster, were on the increase.

Eggs were now sold in the markets at N1,000 or N1,100 per crate, compared to the previous price of N800 or N900 per crate.

A jute bag of dried onions, which previously sold for prices between N9, 800 and N11, 000, now cost between N18, 000 and N22, 000; while a jute bag of fresh onions now fetched N15, 200, as against its former price of N9,000.

NAN, however, noticed that the prices of other consumables like beverages, sugar, milk, bread and noodles have remained stable in the last two months.

Imoyosola Ajao, a civil servant, nonetheless, told NAN that she had resorted to buying only essential commodities, instead of going for all the things she needed because of the high cost of most items.

She said that a mudu of corn flour, which cost N245 a couple of weeks ago, now sold for N270, while a mudu of cassava flour now cost N175, up from its N140 price a couple of weeks ago.

“How can people survive now? What do we eat now? This is because the mixture of corn flour and cassava flour is a common staple food for most people.

“Now that the blended flour is getting out of the reach of the common man, what is the alternative? Semolina, wheat flour and yam flour are not within our reach. What then should we eat?’’ she quipped.

Mrs Ajao bemoaned the continuous increase in the prices of food items in the market, saying that government ought to initiate some price-control strategies to stem impulsive increases in food prices.

Nevertheless, some traders in the markets have attributed the price increases to seasonal factors, forced migration of farmers due to the current security challenges facing certain parts of the country and increase in transportation costs.

They also blamed the increase on factors such as flood, high cost of transportation, high interest rates of loans, ageing farmers and rainfall patterns, among others.

The traders stressed that price increases had caused some setbacks for them, saying that there had been a remarkable fall in patronage.

One of the traders, Eunice Nwachukwu, said that the fall in customers’ patronage had affected the economic wellbeing of the traders, adding that some of them who got bank loans for their businesses had not been able to pay back the loans.

She said most of the shops in the markets were owned by government officials who rented them out to traders at high rates, thereby forcing the traders to jack up the prices of their wares.

Another trader, Alima Agbaje, said that in recent times, most customers could not engage in bulk purchase of food items, adding that they instead make piecemeal purchases because of the prevalent cash squeeze.

She said that the development had affected sales in most markets, while the drop in sales had forced several traders to abandon their shops, thereby creating chances for the remaining traders to increase the prices of their wares arbitrarily.

However, Agnes Igiewe, a plantain seller, blamed the increase in the prices of food items on factors such as the unwholesome practices of middlemen, dealers and shop owners.

She stressed that the problem was compounded by the harmful habits of middlemen who impulsively jacked up the prices of food items arbitrarily.

“From Edo State to Abuja, a truckload of plantain usually costs N250,000, but the middlemen will make sure you pay extra costs before the plantain is moved from the farm.

“Nobody is checking the activities of the middlemen and they dictate food prices; their pronouncements on the prices are final and binding.

“All the extraneous costs would be added to the selling price of the foodstuffs in order for you to make some profit,’’ she said.

Ralph Abakuku, a stock fish seller, also attributed the increase in the prices of food items to the prevalent cash flow problems in the country, which had forced many traders to obtain bank loans without consideration for the high interest rates of the loans.

Another farmer, Abdullahi Danbaba, blamed the current increase in food prices on unstable rainfall patterns and erratic electricity supply.

He said most of the food crops were cultivated via irrigation farming, adding the unstable electricity supply had forced most irrigation farmers to rely solely on the use of petrol to operate their equipment.

He said that the farmers then had no other option than to increase the prices of their crops to enable them to break even.

In the main market of Bwari, a satellite town in the FCT, most of the traders attributed the high prices of food items to Ramadan.

Some traders at Bwari setting up their wares by the roadside after the market was burnt down on Christmas Day.

They said that some traders often review food prices up in the lead-up to the fasting period.

“Some foodstuff sellers know that consumers, particularly Muslims, often buy and store food items during the period; they, therefore, see it as opportunity to increase food prices and make more profits,’’ said Muktar Hassan, a beans merchant.

“It is so unfortunate that the market leaders are aware of such unscrupulous activities; yet they failed to stop such practice and those who engage in it,’’ he added.

All the same, Silas Alejolowo, an agriculturist, told NAN that prices of food would continue to rise if the country’s farmers continued to face myriad challenges.

He also noted that most youth in the country were not interested in taking up farming, while inadequate efforts were also being made to encourage the youth to embrace agriculture.

He said that this was as a major challenge facing efforts to boost Nigeria’s food security, adding that the challenge was reinforced by the fact that agriculture in the country was labour-intensive and still relied on the use of crude tools.

He said that the prevalent use of primitive farm implements had made Nigerian farmers less efficient and less productive, while creating perceptible threats to food security and stability of food prices.

(NAN)

President Buhari Participates In Ramadan Tasfir

  President Muhammadu Buhari has joined Muslim faithful all over the world for the Ramadan Tafsir – the translation and

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has joined Muslim faithful all over the world for the Ramadan Tafsir – the translation and explanation of the Holy Quran.

At the Mosque in the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, the Chief Imam, Abdulwaheed Abubakar on Thursday opened the exercise with gratitude to Allah for freeing the President of the ailment that kept him away from the country throughout this period last year.

In a statement signed by President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on  Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu added that the Chief Imam wished the President full health and the energy he needs to discharge the requirements of his office.

President Muhammadu Buhari leading Tafsir-al-Qura’n session on Day-One of Ramadan fasting at the State House Mosque in Abuja on Thursday, May 17. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE

 

The Imam appreciated Nigerians for their prayers for the President and the nation, urging them to submit to the will of their creator.

Imam Abdulwaheed also prayed to Allah for peaceful elections in the coming year.

READ ALSO: Preach ‘Righteousness And Discipline’ At Ramadan, Buhari Tells Muslims

President Muhammadu Buhari leading Tafsir-al-Qura’n session on Day-One of Ramadan fasting at the State House Mosque in Abuja on Thursday, May 17. PHOTO: SUNDAY AGHAEZE

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Egypt Opens Gaza Border For Month Of Ramadan

A man holds a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel,

A man holds a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel, east of Gaza City on May 14, 2018. PHOTO: THOMAS COEX / AFP

 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has made a rare decision to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for a month, allowing Palestinians to cross during the holy period of Ramadan.

The decision to keep the crossing open was taken “to alleviate the suffering” of residents in the Palestinian enclave, Sisi said on Facebook late Thursday.

The Rafah crossing is Gaza’s only gateway to the outside world not controlled by Israel, but Egypt has largely sealed it in recent years, citing security threats.

The last extended opening lasted three weeks in 2013, while usually Palestinians are able to cross for a few dozen days a year.

Previous openings of Rafah have been cut short by violence in the Sinai peninsula or with authorities giving other reasons.

Sisi’s announcement comes after some 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on Gaza’s frontier earlier this week, with the victims described by Egypt’s foreign ministry as “martyrs”.

A total of 114 Gazans have been killed in border protests and clashes since March 30, in the run-up to the controversial opening Monday of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Egypt has relations with both Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, giving Cairo an instrumental role in easing tensions between the two sides and alleviating the pressure on the territory’s two million residents.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya paid a brief visit on Sunday to Egypt, where he met with the director of the country’s intelligence services Abbas Kamel.

For more than a decade Israel has imposed a crippling blockage on Gaza which it says is necessary to isolate Hamas, with which it has fought three wars since 2008.

But critics argue it amounts to collective punishment of the enclave’s residents, with 47 percent suffering from food insecurity according to United Nations figures.

An emergency summit of the world’s main pan-Islamic body, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, will be held in Istanbul on Friday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed the extraordinary meeting should send a “strong message to the world” over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

At an Israeli checkpoint early Friday, Palestinians were crossing from the West Bank town of Bethlehem to the first weekly prayers of Ramadan at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Palestinians were seen being searched with metal detectors and having their bags checked by Israeli authorities, while at least two men in wheelchairs were pushed through the checkpoint by border agents.

AFP

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IBB Advises Muslims On Proper Conduct In Holy Month

Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, on Thursday enjoined Muslims to conduct themselves well during the holy month, to maximise the

Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, on Thursday enjoined Muslims to conduct themselves well during the holy month, to maximise the spiritual and physical benefits inherent in the fasting period.

Babangida made the appeal in a statement on Thursday in Minna.

“I join all to congratulate Muslims in Nigeria and across the world for seeing yet another Ramadan month.

“It brings to note the transient nature of the world, with the realisation that some people we observed the month with last year and many years back are no longer there this year.

“So, we have this and many more reasons to thank Allah (SWT) for His mercy to be alive, to witness this holy month.

“We are no doubt faced with various challenges at personal and national levels; but we are always strong and believing in divine intervention to always take us through the right path with prayers, to find solutions to our challenges.”

“I enjoin Muslim Ummah and scholars to pray and preach, so that all Muslims will, in this month, accord Ramadan as an important pillar of Islam with the needed devotion for the good of the religion, humanity and the society at large,” IBB said.

 

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Preach ‘Righteousness And Discipline’ At Ramadan, Buhari Tells Muslims

File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari   President Muhammadu Buhari says fasting is not just merely meant to stay hungry or

Preach 'Righteousness And Discipline' At Ramadan, Buhari Tells Muslims
File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says fasting is not just merely meant to stay hungry or thirsty, but an opportunity to strive for inner purification and self-accountability.

He stated this as he sends his greetings and best wishes to Muslims in Nigeria and across the world as they commence the 30-day Ramadan fast.

“It is meant to inculcate righteousness and discipline,” the President said in his message to the nation on the beginning of the Ramadan.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari urged fasting Muslims to increase their love for humanity, acts of charity, kindness, generosity and gratitude.

He reminded them that the Holy Prophet Muhammad used to spend very generously on the poor and the needy during the period

The President then asked Muslims in the country and all over the world to copy the good examples of the Holy Prophet.

He also called on Muslims and all Nigerians to always remember men and women who are less fortunate than themselves and to help the government in confronting the challenges facing the nation.

President Buhari prayed Allah to grant all Muslims the strength to successfully complete the fasting.

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Ramadan: Saraki Asks Nigerians To Pray For End To Insecurity

File photo   The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has appealed to Nigerians to asked God to end the repeated

Ramadan: Saraki Asks Nigerians To Pray For End To Insecurity
File photo

 

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has appealed to Nigerians to asked God to end the repeated killings in the country.

Senator Saraki made the appeal in a Facebook post on Thursday while extending his greetings to Muslims in Nigeria as they begin the 30-day Ramadan fast.

He asked them to see the period as another opportunity to fervently pray over the security situation of the country.

The Senate President further called on the Almighty Allah (SWT) to restore sanity and love among his countrymen and women.

He said, “Nigerians, Muslims in particular, should make use of this opportunity to pray for the end of the insecurity in our nation.

“Ramadan is a unique and special period for Muslims around the world to renew their faith in the Almighty, deepen their worship and practice the teachings of the Holy Quran.

“Apart from being a time to assist the weak, vulnerable and less fortunate among us, let us utilise this period to pray for continuous peace and unity of our nation – because by the grace of the Almighty, all our individual and national challenges are surmountable. Amin.”

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Liverpool linked with surprise move for international teammate of Mo Salah

As per a report from TeamTalk this morning, Liverpool are considering a summer move for Stoke City winger Ramadan Sobhi.

As per a report from TeamTalk this morning, Liverpool are considering a summer move for Stoke City winger Ramadan Sobhi.

Potters’ star

Ramadan, a 21-year-old wide-man who also happens to be an Egyptian international teammate of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, made the move to Stoke in the summer of 2016 from Al Ahly.

The talented African has since gone on to make 36 Premier League appearances for the Potters, though he has managed just 9 league starts to this point in the current campaign.

Ramadan Sobhi

Ramadan Sobhi runs at Antonio Valencia during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on January 15, 2018 in Manchester, England.

Anfield bound?

Nevertheless, Ramadan has impressed many onlookers with his direct nature and quick feet, with the aforementioned report from TeamTalk today revealing that the youngster’s showings at the Bet365 have caught the eye of Merseyside giants Liverpool.

The Reds are known to be on the lookout for reinforcements in attacking areas, with Jurgen Klopp keen to add some depth to his options out wide.

And Ramadan, who would reportedly be available for a fee of around £15 million, is said to be one of a number of summer targets being considered by the board at Anfield.

TeamTalk also claim that Liverpool scouted Ramadan before his move to Stoke in 2016, and that Mohamed Salah has provided glowing reports of his international teammate (19 caps for Egypt).

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