Some traders and shop owners in FCT on Friday decried high cost of foodstuffs and other essential commodities in the markets.
The traders, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondents in Abuja, said that the current prices of commodities were affecting their businesses negatively in the market.
Mrs Rosemary Akoh, a beverage store owner, Garki Market, attributed the high cost of commodities to high exchange rate in the country and high cost of transportation of goods.
“The high cost of commodities is affecting the business operators in the market, especially wholesale dealers.
“Let’s assume you bought your goods at the market exchange rate of N500 per dollar, you don’t expect to sell at the same rate.
“That particular amount of money you have then cannot buy you the same quantity of goods now, the problem has put many operators in a very difficult situation,” she said.
John Samuel, who sells foodstuffs in Durumi 2 market, complained of high cost of commodities with low demand from the consumers as a setback to his business.
He said that the economic environment of the country was unfriendly, while government policies had hampered the growth of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“A bag of maize, which was sold for between N9, 000 and N10, 000 before, now sells for between N15, 000 and N20, 000.
“A measure of beans, formerly sold for between N200 and N300 now sells at N600 and may even go up with the rainy season,” he said.
Samuel, however, stressed the need to diversify the nation’s economy to curtail the negative effects of the economic recession in the country.
“Traders should be assisted with soft loans to encourage them and boost their businesses in the country,’’ he said.
Sani Maradun, who sells beef in Kuje market, attributed the rising cost of beef to high transportation cost and poor condition of the road from the abattoir to the market.
Maradun, however, appealed to the Kuje Area Council to fix the road and equip the abattoir with necessary modern facilities for meat business to strive in the area.
NAN also discovered that prices of perishable items, such as tomatoes, pepper, onions among others have gone up as a basket of onions now goes for N9, 000 as against N5, 000 in the recent past.
The Chairman of Kuje Traders Union, Alhaji Musa Umar, warned some traders, who hoard essential commodities and increase food prices to create unnecessary scarcity, to desist from such attitude.