Today, the country and its poor citizens are wallowing in hardship/hunger. The prices of commodities skyrocketed during and after the lockdown. The reason for this food crisis appears to not be only because of COVID-19 lockdown but hoarding of food items. In the last week of October, the mouths that many Nigerians were left ajar owing to the discovery of hoarded COVID-19 palliatives.
The food items had been donated by many Nigerians, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the Federal Government to alleviate sufferings of the poor masses associated with COVID-19 lockdown. Unknown to the starving populace, the food items were hoarded in warehouses by some state governors. The palliatives were first discovered in Lagos, then Osun, Edo, Plateau, Enugu, Anambra and others. The hungry masses broke into the various warehouses to take the hoarded food items. This hoard of palliatives had further contributed to the scarcity and high cost of food items across the country.
Nobody could have imagined there will come a time when onions would be scarce like a gold. Presently, the cost of a sachet of tomato is #120 – #150. A bucket of garri is sold for #900. A 450g cup of local rice costs #500 The price of noodles has refused to come down. It’s really a hard time for Nigerians. But guess what? There is a good news.
Yesterday, 2nd December, the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria reportedly had a meeting during which it was agreed that the price of rice be reduced. The current cost a 50kg of rice is about #30,000 but the Association has agreed the price be slashed to #19,000 per bag according to DAILY NIGERIAN.
Recall that the supply of rice in Nigeria met a huge blow since the closure of the country’s boarders by the federal government. This action had spurred some dealers to indulge in hoarding. But with the announcement of the new price tag on a bag of rice, the cruel hoarders will suffer a big blow. The new price is scheduled to take effect from December 14, 2020. This will surely brighten the faces of Nigerians as we go into the festive season. If achieved, then the federal government would deserve commendations.